Materialien zum Neobuddhismus


Wilhelm II.: "Völker Europas, wahrt Eure heiligsten Güter!"

8. Buddhismus in Indien

2. Ab 1956

von Alois Payer


Zitierweise / cite as:

Payer, Alois <1944 - >: Materialien zum Neobuddhismus.  --   8. Buddhismus in Indien. -- 2. Ab 1956. -- Fassung vom 2005-07-01. -- URL: . -- [Stichwort].

Erstmals publiziert: 1996-07-18

Überarbeitungen: 2006-07-01 [Ergänzungen]; 2005-05-05 [überarbeitet]; 2003-07-25 [überarbeitet und stark erweitert]; 1998-07-18

Anlass: Lehrveranstaltung Neobuddhismus, Univ. Tübingen, SS 1987, SS 2003

Copyright: Dieser Text steht der Allgemeinheit zur Verfügung. Eine Verwertung in Publikationen, die über übliche Zitate hinausgeht, bedarf der ausdrücklichen Genehmigung des Verfassers.

Dieser Text ist Teil der Abteilung Buddhismus von Tüpfli's Global Village Library


Der 14. Dalai Lama (geb. 1935) übertritt auf seiner Flucht die indische Grenze und erhält politisches Asyl. In der Folgezeit fliehen über 85.000 Tibeter nach Indien


Abb.: Der junge Dalai lama [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-08]

Nach seiner Flucht aus Tibet (März 1959) nimmt der 14. Dalai Lama (geb. 1935) seine Residenz in Dharamsala.


Abb.: Stupa auf der Deeksha Bhoomi, Nagpur [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]

Die Regierung von Maharashtra stifetet 12 acres Land dort, wo 1956 die Massenkonversion unter Anleitung von B. R. Ambedkar (1891 - 1956) stattgefunden hat: Deeksha Bhoomi.

"Spread over 14 acres of  land in Nagpur, "Deeksha Bhoomi" is a holy monument for Buddhists where Buddhists receive Deeksha every year on   " Ashok Vijaya Dashmi Day". Every year a mass congregation of all the followers of Lord Buddha and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar assemble here from all parts of the country."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]


Die Maha Bodhi Society feiert  Anagarika Dharmapala's (1864-1933) hundertsten Geburtstag mit vielen Festlichkeiten in ganz Indien.


Siebte Konferenz des World Fellowship of Buddhists in Sarnath. Tausende von Ambedkar-Buddhisten kommen aus ganz Indien.


Eröffnung des Tibet House in New Delhi [Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]

"Tibet House was established in 1965 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the purpose of preserving the unique cultural heritage of Tibet at a time when it faced extinction in its homeland, as well as for providing a centre for Tibetan and Buddhist studies.

Tibet House was the first Tibetan cultural centre of its kind in the world."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]


Abb.: ™Logo

Eröffnung des Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Sarnath bei Benares [Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]

The CIHTS envisioned by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru in consultation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, was established in 1967 with a view to educating the youths of Tibet and Himalyan border students of India.  

In the beginning it functioned as a special constituent wing of Sampurnananda Sanskrit University, Varanasi.  Thereafter the government of India reviewed the progress of the Institute and decided to accord it a status of an autonomous body under the Department of Culture, Ministry of Education, Govt. of India in 1977 with 100% financial support from the Govt. of India.  The Institute steadily progressed with optimal success since then and Govt. of India declared the Institute as a "Deemed to be a University" on 5th April, 1988.  The Institute is headed by Prof. S. Rinpoche as Director and is ably assisted by learned faculty members of the Institute in achieving its goal of excellence in the field of Tibetology, Buddhology and Himalayan Studies.


The objectives of the Institute have been carefully thought out by individuals endowed with creative imagination, particularly in the Government of India.  The objectives are:  

  1. to preserve the Tibetan culture and tradition;

  2. to restore ancient Indian sciences and literature preserved in the Tibetan language, but lost in the original;

  3. to offer an alternate educational facility to students of Indian border areas who formerly availed the opportunity of receiving higher education in tibet; and

  4. to accomplish gains of teaching and scope of research in traditionl subjects in a framework of modern university system of education with the provision for award of degrees in Tibetan studies.

Special Features of the Institute

The Institute has been established with the ethos of imparting education in tibetan studies with a predilection for the traditional Tibetan method of teaching within an innovative framework of modern universities comprising time-bound courses of study, written examinations and award of degrees.  

The Institute is mainly research-oriented and seeks to mould students through its teachings and  where students are turned into suitably qualified individuals capable of undertaking works of research and restitution in concurrence with the fundamental objectives of the organisation.  With this purpose, the syllabus of courses have been so drawn as to provide the students with sound footings in traditional subjects of Tibetology, while enabling them at the same time, to be fully conversant with modern subjects and research methodology.

Courses of Study

The Institute imparts a 9 years integrated course from Madhyama to Acharya through 5 Faculties:  

  1. Faculty of Hetu Evam Adhyatma Vidya (Logic and Spirituality)
  2. Faculty of Shabda Vidya (Language and Literature)
  3. Faculty of Chikitsa Vidya (Medical Science)
  4. Faculty of Shilpa Vidya (Arts and Crafts) and
  5. Faculty of Adhunik Vidya (Modern Studies)

In keeping with traditional method of instruction, the students have to memorize certain amount of root-texts every year.  

Viva Voce/Debate also forms a part of the examinations system at the Acharya level.  The tradition of Sastrartha or Debate is maintained as an integral and viable part of learning. "

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]


Abb.: S. N. Goenka und Gattin [Bildquelle. -- Zugriff am 2003-07-08]

Satya Narayan Goenka (geb. 1924) , ein In Burma geborener Inder, Schüler des Vipassana-Lehrers Sayagi U Ba Khin (1898 - 1971) kommt nach Indien und beginnt Vipassana zu lehren.

"Mr. Goenka was born in Mandalay, Myanmar, in 1924. He joined his family business in 1940 and rapidly became a pioneering industrialist, establishing several manufacturing corporations. He soon became a leading figure in Myanmar’s large influential Indian community, and for many years headed such organizations as the Burma Marwari Chamber of Commerce and the Rangoon Chamber of Commerce & Industry. He often accompanied Union of Burma trade delegations on international tours as an advisor.

In 1956 Mr. Goenka took his first ten-day Vipassana course at the International Meditation Center in Rangoon, under the guidance of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. In 1962 Mr. Goenka’s industries and businesses were taken over when the newly installed military government of Myanmar nationalized all industry in the country. This gave him an opportunity to spend more time with his teacher for meditation and in-depth training, all the while remaining a devoted family man and father of six sons. In 1969, after fourteen years practicing with his teacher, he was appointed a teacher of Vipassana himself and devoted his life to spreading the technique for the benefit of all humanity. In the same year he came to India and conducted his first ten-day meditation course. In India, a country still sharply divided by caste and religion, Vipassana has been widely and easily accepted because of its nonsectarian nature.

In 1974 Mr. Goenka founded the Vipassana International Academy, Dhamma Giri, in Igatpuri, near Bombay, India. Courses of ten days duration and longer are held there continuously. In 1979 he began traveling abroad to introduce Vipassana in other countries of the world. In Asia, North America, Europe and Australasia, Mr. Goenka has personally taught tens of thousands of people in more than 400 ten-day courses.

In response to an ever-growing demand, he started training assistant teachers to conduct these ten-day residential courses on his behalf. To date, he has trained more than 700 assistant teachers who have, with the help of thousands of volunteers, held Vipassana courses in more than 90 countries, including the People’s Republic of China, Iran, Muscat, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mongolia, Russia, Serbia, Taiwan, Cambodia, Mexico and all the countries of South America. More than 80 centers devoted to the teaching of Vipassana have been established in 21 countries. Today more than 1,000 courses are held annually around the world. One of the unique aspects of these Vipassana courses is that they are offered free of any charge for board, lodging or tuition; the expenses are completely met by voluntary donations. Neither Mr. Goenka nor his assistants receive any financial gain from these courses.

A prolific writer and poet, Mr. Goenka composes in English, Hindi and Rajasthani, and his works have been translated into many languages. He has been invited to lecture by institutes as diverse as the Dharma Drum Mountain Monastery (of Ven. Sheng Yen) in Taiwan; the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the Millennium World Peace Summit at the United Nations—here he stressed for the assembled spiritual leaders the overreaching importance of inner peace to effect real world peace.

Teaching for All Sections of Society: From Prisoners to Civil Servants

Vipassana meditation has been taught to prison inmates and staff in many parts of India as well as the United States, Britain, New Zealand, Taiwan and Nepal. There are permanent Vipassana centers in two Indian prisons. More than ten thousand inmates have attended ten-day Vipassana courses in jails and prisons. One thousand prisoners participated in a ground-breaking ten-day course conducted by Mr. Goenka in Tihar Jail, Delhi, in April, 1994. What started in a dramatic way in Tihar has now spread all over India. Convinced of its positive effects the Government of India has recommended that every prison in the country should organize ten-day Vipassana courses for inmates. As a result hundreds of prisoners continue to participate in Vipassana retreats every month. In addition, thousands of police officers have also attended Vipassana courses in the center at the Police Academy, Delhi, and at other centers in India.

Men and women from all walks of life successfully practice Vipassana. They include the highly educated and the illiterate, the wealthy and the impoverished, aristocrats and slum-dwellers, devout followers of every religion and followers of none, the powerful and the powerless, the elderly and the young. Courses have been organized for people with disabilities, including the blind and leprosy patients. Other programs have focused on school children, drug addicts, homeless children, college students and business executives.

High level institutions in India, such as the governments of the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh; large corporations such as the Oil and Natural Gas Commission; leading research institutes such as the Bhabha Atomic Research Institute; and national training institutes such as the Indian Institute of Taxation—all encourage their employees to attend Vipassana courses as part of their ongoing job training.

Commitment to Peace

Mr. Goenka believes and teaches that for peace outside (among nations, among different communities) there must be peace inside. Individuals must learn the "art of living "in order to live peaceful lives. This is the heart of his teaching to people from different backgrounds. One important consequence of his work in India has been a subtle but telling influence on interreligious harmony. Thousands of Catholic priests, Buddhist monks, Jain ascetics, Hindu sanyasis and other religious leaders have come, and continue to come, to Vipassana courses. The universality of Vipassana—the core of the Buddha’s teaching—is providing a way whereby ideological differences can be bridged and people of diverse backgrounds can experience deep benefits without fearing conversion.

Mr. Goenka recently made history in India when he and a leading Hindu leader, HH Shankaracharya of Kanchi, met and together exhorted Hindus and Buddhists alike to forget past differences and live in harmony. After this initial meeting Mr. Goenka also met HH Shankaracharya of Sringeri and many other top Hindu leaders in an effort to establish harmonious relations between Hindu and Buddhist communities.

Despite this uniquely positive development, it is nevertheless true that mere exhortations alone cannot bring about the much desired reconciliation and cooperative spirit. Only when individuals undertake to remove from within themselves the blocks to peace and harmony can peace begin to flower outside and affect society. For this reason Mr. Goenka has always emphasized that the practical application of meditation is what will enable man to achieve inner as well as outer peace."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-08]


Abb.: Kloster Drepung Gomang, Karnataka [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]

Neuerrichtung des tibetischen Klosters Drepung Gomang  in Mundgod, Karnataka [Webpräsenz:  -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]

"Drepung Monastery was founded in 1416 near Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Gomang Dratsang or College is the oldest of the 4 colleges of Drepung. In 1959, before the invasion of Communist China, Drepung monastery had more than 10,000 monks. Gomang alone had about 5,500.  Since its beginning, Gomang College has produced many eminent Buddhist masters and has been a very important Tibetan and Buddhist learning center.  Each of the colleges of Drepung has its speciality and the focus of Gomang is philosophy:  logic and debate.

In 1949 while the Chinese Communists were attempting to establish control of the Far East, we fought the Korean War to stop this domination.  At the very same time, on the other side of China, the army of the People’s Republic of China invaded the county of Tibet.  No one came to the aid of this sovereign territory and by 1959, the political and spiritual leader of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama was forced to flee his country.   He was immediately followed by 80,000 refugees.  Refugees continue to stream from Tibet, often at great peril to their lives.  All told, since 1949 more than 1.2 million Tibetans have died at the hands of the Communist  Chinese.  These oppressors are destroying the environment and culture.  These oppressors are destroying the environment and culture of Tibet and are displacing the population of Tibet.  In many areas, Chinese settlers now outnumber the Tibetan population.  The Peoples’ Republic of China is doing to Tibetans in the space of 50 years what we did to the Native Americans in the space of 500 years.   During the past forty years of their occupation, the Chinese Communists whose motto is “Religion is Poison” have destroyed more than 6,000 of Tibet’s monasteries, including Drepung,  and have imprisoned, tortured, and executed thousands of Buddhist monks and nuns.

Escape from Tibet:Only about 100 monks managed to escape with His Holiness the Dalai Lama when he fled Tibet in 1959. They lived first in Boxa, North India, and then, in 1969, 62 of the surviving Gomang monks were given 42 acres of land in Mundgod, south India.  There they started to rebuild Drepung Gomang Monastic Dratsang  in its present location.  Today more than 1500 monks live on these few acres.

Location and Services:Gomang is located in Mundgod part of a larger Doeguling Tibetan settlement of 16,000 persons.  Besides the monastery, this settlement includes 9 camps for lay people, a Central Tibetan Administration office, 1 school for lay Tibetans, a hospital, a medical center, a nunnery, an old persons home, a bank, a café , and a guest hostel.  Gomang Monastery interacts with the larger Tibetan community, teaching the three R’s in the school, assisting in the hospital, Old Folks' home, and providing training in Tibetan Arts and Crafts for the young people of the settlement while offering employment for the local Tibetan and Indian people.  In addition, of course, the monks perform religious ceremonies for the Tibetans.  All of these services are performed at no charge to the Tibetan Community.

The Tibetan Settlement in Mundgod receives assistance from a USA based organization:  Friends of Tibetan Settlements in India (FOTSI).  This group, directed by Chela Kunasz, has recently published its Year 2002 Annual Report and Newsletter.  This document features compelling stories about some of the people who live in Mundgod and who have been a part of FOTSI's assistance program.  To access this report and newsletter and to view a picture collage that illustrates the stories in the report please click here.

Income: The income of the monastery comes from a variety of sources:  the monks perform pujas or special prayer ceremonies for those who request spiritual assistance.  Usually, they receive a donation for their efforts.  The monks farm some of their acres growing rice and corn and they have a dairy barn.  The monastery operates the café and the guest hostel in the Tibetan settlement and runs a small carpet factory in Nepal and Dehli.

Numbers Increasing: Over the past 10 years the number of monks that escape from Tibet to study at Drepung Gomang Monastery in south India has more than quadrupled. From the original 62 monks the college has grown to 1500. Every year an average of 150 new monks arrive having great difficulties adjusting to the very hot climate and suffering from diseases unknown in Tibet. Many monks have  a bleeding stomach ulcer caused by the bad water quality. Malnutrition, tuberculosis and dysentery take their toll.  Recently, the monastery has established a Community Dispensary staffed by monk volunteers that serves both the monastery and also the greater Tibetan Settlement.  The dispensary provides free check-ups and charges a nominal fee for medicine. "

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09] 


Owen M. Lynch (geb. weist auf Nachteile hin, die Dalits durch die Konversion zum Buddhismus entstehen können:

"One who openly professes to be a Buddhist is not eligible for the special help given by the government to the Scheduled Castes under its 'protective discrimination' policy. A Buddhist in Uttar Pradesh cannot stand for reserved seats in an election, nor can he apply for government jobs reserved for Scheduled Castes. His children cannot claim eligibility for remission of fees, grants, and scholarships given to the Scheduled Castes for educational purposes.

In such circumstances, then, the Jatav will engage in 'bridge actions'. Vis-á-vis the state or nation he will activate his Scheduled Caste status, which requires that he be a Hindu, since this carries with it the benefits of "protective discrimination'. However, in situations in which he is not facing a government official, he will activate his Buddhist status." [S. 147]

[Lynch, Owen M. <1931 - >: The politics of untouchability; social mobility and social change in a city of India . --
New York : Columbia University Press, 1969. -- 251 S. -- Zitiert in: Kantowsky, Detlev <1936 - >: Buddhisten in Indien heute : Beschreibungen, Bilder und Dokumente. -- Konstanz : Univ., Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus", ©1999. -- 216 S. : Ill. -- (Forschungsberichte / Universität Konstanz, Arbeitsbereich Entwicklungsländer, Interkultureller Vergleich, Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus" ; 16). -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05. -- S. 11]


Abb.: Vishwa Shanti Stupa

Einweihung des Vishwa Shanti Stupa (World Peace Pagoda) auf dem Ratnagiri-Hügel in Rajgir (Bihar). Der Stupa ist mit einer Luftseilbahn erreichbar. Architekt: Minoru Ohoka (Japan); Künstlerische Gestaltung: Upendra Maharathi. Stifter: Japan Buddha Sangha


Neugründung des tibetischen Klosters Sera in Byalkuppe, Karnataka

Abb.: Kloster Sera, Karnataka

"Sera monastery was established in 1970 by several hundred Tibetan refugee monks on an area of jungle, which had kindly been made available by the Indian government. Starting in the late 1970's, there has been a continuous presence of a few pioneering Western monks studying Buddhist philosophy and practice in the traditional way, centred around the debating class, and culminating in the geshe degree.

During these years each person had to organise his own accommodation, often with considerable difficulty, and then had to undertake the process of integration into the life of the monastery with very little support. Although several determined people have progressed to the point of being eligible to receive the geshe degree, unfortunately the above problems contributed to the premature departure of numbers of monks over the years."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]


Im Thai-Kloster in Bodh Gaya kostituiert sich der All India Bhikkhu Sangha (AIBS) als Zentralorganisation der in Indien lebenden Theravadins. Sangha Nayaka (President) ist Bhikkhu Jagdish Kashyap (1908 -1976) vom Nava Nalanda Mahavihara.

Detlev Kantowsky schildert seine Beobachtungen zum AIBS::

"Unterhält man sich rückblickend auf diese hoffnungsvollen Anfänge heute mit älteren Vertretern des Buddhismus in Indien über die weitere Entwicklung des Sangha, so erhält man durchgängig negative Einschätzungen auch von Mitgliedern des Sangha selbst:
  • „Die neuen Mönche wollen doch gar nicht ausgebildet werden. Als junge Leute hatten sie noch nie Geld in Händen. So ziehen sie jetzt umher und versuchen für allerlei Projekte Spenden zu bekommen." (Ven. Sasanarashmi Mahathera, Generalsekretär des AIBS, Sarnath, Febr. 1998).
  • „Die Thais denken, dass wir indischen Mönche alle arme Bettler seien." (Ven. Gurudhamma Thera, Schatzmeister des AIBS, Sarnath, Febr. 1998. Er lebt, wie Ven. Sasanarashmi auch, im Thai-Tempel in Sarnath, der von einer thailändischen Stiftung in Bangkok gefördert wird. Im „Guest House" des Thai-Tempel treffen während der „season" regelmäßig Pilgergruppen aus Thailand ein.)
  • „Wenn ich mal so sagen darf: Wir in unserer Familie sind Prä-Ambedkar-Buddhisten." (Dr. A.K. Narain, ehem. Professor an der Universität Wisconsin, in seinem Haus in Varanasi, Mär/. 1998).
  • „Die neuen Bhikkhus arbeiten überhaupt nicht für die Gesellschaft." (Dr. J.S. Sardar, Dozent am Milind College of Science in Aurangabad und engagierter Ambedkar-Buddhist, März 1998. Er hat schon mehrfach Meditationskurse für seine Studenten organisiert, im Sommer 1996 z.B. mit dem Amerikaner Yogavacara Rahula in den buddhistischen Felstempeln in Aurangabad).
  • „Es ist im Moment leider so, dass wir keine herausragenden Mönche mehr wie Anand Kausalyayan, Jagdish Kashyap oder Ariyawansa haben. Wir müssen abwarten und hoffen. -" (D.C. Ahir in seinem Haus in New-Delhi, März 98.)
  • „Wir haben bislang etwa sechzig junge Mönche in Indien, viele von ihnen kamen aus Arunachal Pradesh, mit Ausbildungsstipendien unterstützt. Doch sie sind alle wieder verschwunden." (Frau Sasithorn Thananart, Vizepräsidentin der „Mrigadayavana Mahavihara Foundation", April 1998 in Bangkok. Die Stiftung fördert, wie oben schon erwähnt, den Thai-Tempel in Sarnath). In dem gleichen Gespräch wusste mir Frau Thananart quasi einschränkend aber auch zu berichten, dass es im großen Wat Mahadhatu in Bangkok auch „ruhiger geworden sei". Früher seien an die 550 Mönche bzw. Sramaneras im Kloster gewesen, heute aber nur noch etwas mehr als 300. Und in den thailändischen Nordprovinzen überlege man sich schon, junge Mönche aus Burma einzuladen, um die dortigen Klöster aufzufüllen bzw. überhaupt noch funktionsfähig zu halten.

Nehmen wir einmal an, dass die so referierten Einschätzungen von einigen Schlüssel-Informanten weithin zutreffen, so lassen sich sowohl qualitative wie auch quantitative Gründe zur Erklärung der kritisierten Situation des Sangha in Indien heute anführen.

Nach Schätzung meiner Informanten soll es 1970 in ganz Indien nicht mehr als 75 buddhistische Mönche gegeben haben, die meisten von ihnen lebten in Bengalen und Assam. Für 1998 dagegen werden insgesamt 1250 Mönche angenommen. Davon sollen etwa 150 „Chakmas" sein, etwa 60 bis 80 „Baruas" und 1000 „Ambedkar-Buddhisten"; nicht mehr als höchstens 10 Mönche stammen aus höheren Kasten.

Im Februar 1998 waren 574 Mönche beim AIBS registriert, die meisten von ihnen mit Postanschrift in Maharashtra. Der AIBS ist jedoch kein „Orden" im klassischen Sinne, sondern der Versuch, eine Interessenvertretung für alle indischen Mönche zu schaffen und Bildungs- und Aufklärungsarbeit zu leisten. Mit dem Aufnahmeantrag (vgl. S. 158) weisen potentielle Mitglieder ihre anderweitig erhaltenen Mönchsweihen nach. In Ziffer 12 der derzeit gültigen „Rules and Regulations" des AIBS heißt es dazu:

„A Bhikkhu or a Sramanera above the age of 20, in agreement with the aims and objects of the Sangha shall submit an application with the recommendation of a member of the Governing Council and addressed to the Secretary General, paying a subscription of Rs. 6,- per annum and admission fee of Rs. 2,- shall be enrolled as a General Member."

Der Antrag wird vom Generalsekretär geprüft und daraufhin ein Pass ausgestellt (vgl. S. 160/62), der den Antragsteller als Mitglied des AIBS ausweist. So bestätigt dieser Pass zwar den Mönchsstatus des Inhabers, doch der AIBS selbst kann keine Mönche ordinieren und somit auch keinen großen Einfluss auf die Standards ihrer Ausbildung und des „rechten Verhaltens" nehmen.

In diesem Zusammenhang muss man sich klarmachen, dass erstmals in der Geschichte des buddhistischen Mönchsordens in Indien heute der Versuch unternommen wird, eine buddhistische Gemeinde quasi „von unten" aufzubauen, ohne die (oft sehr!) tatkräftige Unterstützung von Herrschern und reichen Händlern „von oben". Für die Zeitgenossen Buddhas wie für ihn selbst war der Weg in den Orden tatsächlich ein „Gang in die Hauslosigkeit"; Mann/Frau ließ Besitz und Ansehen hinter sich auf der Suche nach Befreiung vom Lebensüberdruss, der oft durch Überfluss bedingt war. Das Flickengewand der damaligen Bhikkhus und Bhikkhunis war so gesehen wirklich ein Symbol der Weltentsagung, für viele neo-buddhistische Mönche heute jedoch ist es eher ein Mittel zur Weltaneignung. Sie gehen nicht „aus dem Palast" fort, sondern lassen ärmliche Verhältnisse in den engen Hütten der Unberührbaren-Siedlungen hinter sich. Schon eine „leere Klause" bzw. der Raum eines im Aufbau befindlichen Vihara mit regelmäßiger Fürsorge von Laien für die Hauptmahlzeiten ist in vielen Fällen mehr, als sie bislang je erleben und genießen konnten!

Meine Erfahrungen im neo-buddhistischen Milieu sind zu punktuell, als dass ich sie zu generellen Aussagen über den Sangha verdichten könnte. Gemessen allerdings an meinen Beobachtungen in Sri Lanka und Thailand musste ich in Indien oft an die detaillierten Handlungsanweisungen und Anstandsregeln denken, die Buddha dem Sangha seiner Zeit gegeben hatte, damit die Bhikkhus und Bhikkhunis als Botschafter eines einfacheren, gleichwohl aber gesitteten Lebens gelten konnten. Derartige Regeln wären auch heule wieder dringend erforderlich, sie scheinen den meisten der neuen Bhikkhus aber unbekannt, und so verhalten sie sich nicht anders als ihre Landsleute ringsum. Sie sind genauso laut, schwätzen über Tagesereignisse von Politik und Gesellschaft, hören Radio, essen zur Unzeit, rülpsen und schmatzen, sind unachtsam mit Abfällen und Resten, feilschen beim Einkauf im Bazar, schlafen gerne und meditieren allenfalls bei „offiziellen Anlässen".

Wenn ich Gurudhamma, dem Schatzmeister des AIBS, der selber ja fünfzehn Jahre in Thailand als Mönch geschult worden war, meine Verwunderung über diese und viele andere Beobachtungen mitteilte, meinte er meistens lachend: „Bitte vergiss nicht die indischen Verhältnisse!", mit anderen Worten: Akzeptiere bitte einen „Indian way of life" auch beim Sangha.

Zu diesem „Indian way of life" gehört, dass der buddhistische Mönch keinen besonderen Status hat und in der bunten indischen Gemengelage von Saddhus und selbsternannten Heiligen nicht sonderlich auffällt. Während die Robe in Sri Lanka oder Thailand vom weiten schon Ehrerbietung abverlangt, ist sie in Indien als außerordentliche Art der Kleidung eines besonderen Ordens nicht geläufig. So musste Gurudhamma zum Beispiel auf der Bahnfahrt von Varanasi nach Gaya unseren Mitreisenden lang und breit erst einmal erklären, dass er kein „Feld-Wald-und-Wiesen Swami", sondern buddhistischer Mönch sei. Mehr noch: Es musste überhaupt erst einmal vermittelt und dann erklärt werden, dass Buddha eben kein Gott des hinduistischen Pantheon, nicht die neunte Reinkarnation von Vishnu sei, wie das die hinduistische Gegenreformation vor Jahrhunderten mit Erfolg verbreitet hatte.

Doch nützt solche Aufklärungsarbeit wenig. Für die meisten Inder ist und bleibt ein Bhikkhu ein „Swami" oder „Baba", so wie auch Buddha selbst ja als „Baba" von den hinduistischen Pilgern in Bodh Gaya verehrt wird. Sie pilgern nicht zum „Buddha" in dem prächtigen thailändischen Tempel, sondern zum „nau lakh ka baba", d.h. zu dem „Gott", dessen goldenes Standbild dereinst in den 60er Jahren die unvorstellbare Summe von „nau lakh", d.h. neunhunderttausend Rupien gekostet hatte und mit einem eigens dafür bereitgestellten amerikanischen Militärtransporter von Bangkok nach Gaya gebracht worden war. Und der Buddha im japanischen Tempel ist eben der ,japani baba", nicht mehr (aber auch nicht weniger!) als eine weitere Manifestation der vielen Spielarten bei der Suche nach „moksha"."

[Kantowsky, Detlev <1936 - >: Buddhisten in Indien heute : Beschreibungen, Bilder und Dokumente. -- Konstanz : Univ., Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus", ©1999. -- 216 S. : Ill. -- (Forschungsberichte / Universität Konstanz, Arbeitsbereich Entwicklungsländer, Interkultureller Vergleich, Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus" ; 16). -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05. -- S. 137 - 141]


Arjunrao Bhujangrao Hiramani (geb. 1941)  betreibt Feldforschung in zwei Dörfern in Maharashtra. Er bezüglich der Ambedkar-Buddhisten folgende Feststellungen:

"The conversion from (he Hindu fold is one of the most important factors that brought about social change among the Buddhists. The data show that most of the Buddhist families have taken to agricultural labour after abandoning their traditional services. When such change took place in them, their relationships with the villagers based on baluta came to an end. The relationships between the Buddhists and the villagers formerly were shaped not only on the economic basis but on a social basis. Almost all menial and degrading jobs were to be performed by the Buddhists under obligation to the higher castes. Their present occupation as agricultural labourers has not brought any appreciable economic dividends either. But they do not now work under compulsion. The compulsion, if any, is economic and indirect and not social." [S. 202]

"The villagers now get their work done by employing a servant or by themselves. The dead animals are in many cases dragged by the respective owners themselves who bury them in their fields, or allot the work to a person belonging to the Mang caste who is paid Rs. 2 to 5 for this work. The sweeping of a courtyard of the higher caste is done by themselves, and the sweeping of the village streets is assigned to the servants appointed by the village Grampanchayat. The breaking away of the Buddhists from the baluta system, therefore, has led to some concomitant changes in inducing others to step in." [S. 243]

"The Buddhists even after their conversion are still treated as the former Mahars in the commensal relations. Their touch is still treated polluting. And hence if and when food is served to them the higher castes take the usual precautions. The Buddhists do not accept food from the Nhavi, Dhobi, Kaikadi, Dhor, Chambhar and Mang." [S. 264]

[Hiramani, Arjunrao Bhujangrao <1941 - >: Social change in rural India : a study of two villages in Maharashtra. -- Delhi : B. R. Pub. Corp. ; New Delhi, 1977. -- 320 S. -- Zitiert in: Kantowsky, Detlev <1936 - >: Buddhisten in Indien heute : Beschreibungen, Bilder und Dokumente. -- Konstanz : Univ., Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus", ©1999. -- 216 S. : Ill. -- (Forschungsberichte / Universität Konstanz, Arbeitsbereich Entwicklungsländer, Interkultureller Vergleich, Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus" ; 16). -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05. -- S. 8f]


Abb.: Wat Thai in Bodh Gaya [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-07]

Eröffnung des Thai-Tempels (Wat Thai) in Buddha Gaya, gestiftet von der thailändische Regierung.


Neugründung des tibetischen Klosters Tashi Lhunpo in Tibetan Settlement Bylakuppe, Mysore, Karnataka. [Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09}

Abb.: Tashi Lhunpo, Karnataka

"Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is seat to the Panchen Lama, the second most important spiritual leader of Tibet. In 1447 the Monastery was founded by His Holiness the 1st Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Gendun Drup, in Shigatse, Tibet's second largest city. It is one of the four great monasteries of Central Tibet and was supervised and looked after by the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas of the Gelugpa, or Yellow Hat tradition. It has the glory of producing thousands of renowned scholars in the field of Mahayana Buddhist Philosophy and Tantra.

During the lifetime of the 4th Panchen Lama, Lobsang Choekyi Gyaltsen, there were more than 3,000 monks in the Monastery and by 1959 there were 5,000, with another 2,000 monks affiliated to the monastery living outside Tibet. The Communist Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959 and the Cultural Revolution from 1966-80 both wreaked destruction on Tibet's monastic institutions, which lost many precious scriptures, statues and images. Many monks were killed or imprisoned and only 250 were able to follow the Dalai Lama into exile.

In 1972, under the patronage of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tashi Lhunpo Monastery was re-established in the Southern Indian state of Karnataka. The monastery has monks coming from Tibet and the Himalayan regions of Spithi, Khunu, Ladakh, Ghashar and Sangkhar. Occupying a central position in the Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe, there are over 250 monks including many Tulkus (reincarnate lamas) studying and performing various religious practices."

"During the 1960s many senior lamas and monastics left Tibet and helped re-establish new monasteries in India, Nepal and Bhutan. The late Panchen Lama did not leave Tibet and consequently many of the senior lamas from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery remained inside Tibet. Therefore, while other monasteries-in-exile have expanded and developed under the guidance of senior lamas, Tashi Lhunpo has remained at a disadvantage."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]


Theodore S. Wilkinson beschreibt eine Ambedkar-buddhistische Hochzeitszeremonie:

"For the wedding ceremony the bride and bridegroom sit in front of a table or stool on which arc placed the pictures of the Buddha and Dr.Ambedkar. An earthen pot full of water, with few mango-leaves dipped in it, is kept in front of the bride and the groom. A white thread is tied round the neck of the pot. The bride and groom fold their hands in reverence and the two ends of the thread are passed between the palms of folded hands of each of them and held in that position until the oath-taking is over. It is preferred to have a Bhikkhu (Buddhist monk) preside over the ceremony, but since there are so few of them, a leading person of the community is generally asked to preside; he recites the Tree Saran and the Panchsheel in Pali, and during this recitation the assembled gathering shower white flowers on the couple at short intervals. Then the two are administered the following oaths:
  1. I shall give due respect to my wife.
  2. I shall not insult her.
  3. I shall prove myself worthy of my wife by refraining from intoxicating and alcoholic drink, and shall abstain from adultery.
  4. I shall make my wife happy by giving her wealth and fulfilling her necessities.
  5. I shall satisfy my wife by giving her ornaments and clothes.


  1. I shall keep my house neat and clean.
  2. I shall win the heart of my husband, members of my family and relatives, elderly persons and servants of my house, by my good and decent behaviour.
  3. I shall prove worthy of my husband by abstaining from adultery, deceit and prostitution.
  4. I shall protect the wealth of my husband earned by good means.
  5. I shall be vigilant over every work of my house and shall not show any kind of negligence.

After taking these oaths the bride first garlands the groom and vice versa, by which act they publicly accept each other as husband and wife. Having done this, they garland the portraits of the Buddha and Dr.Ambedkar, while the assembled gathering shout Bhagwan Buddha ki jai; Aur Babasahtb Ambedkar ki jai' (Praise be to thee Lord Buddha, and Praise be to thee father Ambedkar). The ceremony is concluded with the Bhikkhu or any other person presiding reciting Jaimangal and Ashta Mangalgatha in Pali.

The marriage dinner is also a simple affair, and no non-vegetarian dishes or alcoholic drinks are served. Many respondents said that in the past no wedding was considered complete without these two items, which not only added to the expenses but was one of the main reason for quarrels and disorderliness." [S. 97f.]

[Wilkinson, Theodore S.: Buddhism and social change among the mahars. -- In: Ambedkar and the Neo-Buddhist movement / edited by T. S. Wilkinson and M. M. Thomas.  -- Bangalore : Published for the Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society by the Christian Literature Society, Madras, [1972]. -- S. 103 - 128. -- Zitiert in: Kantowsky, Detlev <1936 - >: Buddhisten in Indien heute : Beschreibungen, Bilder und Dokumente. -- Konstanz : Univ., Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus", ©1999. -- 216 S. : Ill. -- (Forschungsberichte / Universität Konstanz, Arbeitsbereich Entwicklungsländer, Interkultureller Vergleich, Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus" ; 16). -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05. -- S. 9f]


Richard Warren Taylor (geb. 1924) über die Ambedkar-Buddhisten:

"In one village the Buddhists refused to perform their traditional tasks and when harvest time came in 1957 the ruling landlord and farmer class took revenge for it. The landlords refused to employ the Buddhists. This large and remote village in the Wardha District had a population of around 6.000 in the late 19501s of whom about 1.400 were Mahars -all of whom became Buddhists. Many of them later returned to their traditional roles out of economic necessity." [S. 134].

[Taylor, Richard Warren <1924 - >: The Ambedkar Buddhists. -- In: Ambedkar and the Neo-Buddhist movement / edited by T. S. Wilkinson and M. M. Thomas.  -- Bangalore : Published for the Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society by the Christian Literature Society, Madras, [1972]. -- S. 103 - 128. -- Zitiert in: Kantowsky, Detlev <1936 - >: Buddhisten in Indien heute : Beschreibungen, Bilder und Dokumente. -- Konstanz : Univ., Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus", ©1999. -- 216 S. : Ill. -- (Forschungsberichte / Universität Konstanz, Arbeitsbereich Entwicklungsländer, Interkultureller Vergleich, Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus" ; 16). -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05. -- S. 10]


Adele M. Fiske über Buddhisten Indiens:

"Although an editorial published in the first issue of Buddhist India in 1927 called for the formation of an all-India Buddhist organization, and at least fifteen Buddhist existed prior to Dr.Ambedkar's conversion in 1956, little evidence was found of inter-organizational communication and cooperation during the course of this survey in 1966-67. Even among the component units of the largest of the Buddhist organizations, the Buddhist Society of India, there was little coordination of programs, publications, and related activities. An assessment of the situation in 1964 was provided by D.C.AHIR in a form letter distributed in 1966 to Buddhist leaders and organizations throughout India:

"Though there are more than 3 million registered Buddhists and over 20 million potential Buddhists in India — Buddhism has not so far attained national status in this country. This was reflected to a great extent at the time of the 7th Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists held at Sarnath in November, 1964. From India as many as ten delegations participated in this conference but most of them had no or little knowledge about each other before reaching Sarnath. The reason being that there does not exist an active All India Body of Buddhists and information about numerous Buddhist Societies and Organisations in the country is not available from any one place."

This statement was accompanied by a request for information concerning the existence in each locality of "Buddhist Societies and Organizations, Schools, Colleges, Viharas, Customs and Festivals and Buddhist Literature etc.' Responses to this query were to be published in the Bhartiya Buddhist Directory established by Mr.Ahir, the managing editor, in collaboration with Ven. Anand Kausalyayan. In spite of the obvious usefulness of such information for the furthering of communication and integration within the movement, as of June, 1967, Mr.Ahir had received very few replies, and as of 1970, this work had not been published." [S. 140]

[Fiske, Adele M.: The understanding of 'religion' and 'Buddhism' amongIndia's new Buddhists. -- In: Ambedkar and the Neo-Buddhist movement / edited by T. S. Wilkinson and M. M. Thomas.  -- Bangalore : Published for the Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and Society by the Christian Literature Society, Madras, [1972]. -- S. 103 - 128. -- Zitiert in: Kantowsky, Detlev <1936 - >: Buddhisten in Indien heute : Beschreibungen, Bilder und Dokumente. -- Konstanz : Univ., Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus", ©1999. -- 216 S. : Ill. -- (Forschungsberichte / Universität Konstanz, Arbeitsbereich Entwicklungsländer, Interkultureller Vergleich, Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus" ; 16). -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05. -- S. 12]


Einweihung des Indosan Niponji Temple (Japanese Buddhist Temple) in Bodh Gaya, gestiftet von der International Brotherhood Association of Japan.


Gründung der All India Frontier Bauddha Mahasabha


Der 14. Dalai Lama (geb. 1935) hält erstmals in Bodh Gaya die Kalachakra-Zeremonie ab.


Gedenkfeiern zum 2600. Geburtstag Buddhas.


Abb.: Dhamma Giri [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-08]

S. N. Goenka (geb. 1924) gründet die Vipassana International Academy, Dhamma Giri, in Igatpuri bei Bombay. [Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-08]

"According to the tradition of pure Vipassana, courses are run solely on a donation basis. Donations are accepted only from those who have completed at least one ten-day course with S.N. Goenka or one of his assisting teachers. Someone taking the course for the first time may give a donation on the last day of the course or any time thereafter.

In this way course are supported by those who have realized for themselves the benefits of the practice. Wishing to share these benefits with others, one gives a donation according to one's means and volition. Such donations are the only source of funding for course in this tradition around the world. There is no wealthy foundation or individual sponsoring them. Neither the teachers nor the organizers receive any kind of payment for their service. Thus, the spread of Vipassana is carried out with purity of purpose, free from any commercialism.

Whether a donation is large or small, it should be given with the wish to help others: 'The course I have taken has been paid for through the generosity of past students; now let me give something towards the cost of a future course, so that others may also benefit by this technique.'"

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-08]


Abb.: ™Logo

Der englische buddhistische Mönch Sangharakshita (geb. 1925) gründet den Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha Sahayaka Gana (TBMSG) in Pune, Maharashtra.  [Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-11] Es ist der indische Zweig der Friends of the Western Buddhist Order [Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-11]

"Sangharakshita, who founded the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order in 1967, is one of the founding fathers of Western Buddhism. He was born Dennis Lingwood in South London, 1925 and had a Church of England upbringing, but he developed an interest in the cultures and philosophies of the East early on.

He realised he was a Buddhist at the age of sixteen, after reading The Diamond Sutra. He became involved in London’s germinal Buddhist world in wartime Britain, and started to explore the faith through study and practice. Conscription in the Second World War took him to Sri Lanka, and after the war he stayed on in India. For a while he lived as a wandering mendicant, and later he was ordained as the Theravadin Buddhist monk Sangharakshita (‘protected by the spiritual community').

Sangharakshita lived for many years in Kalimpong where he encountered many leading teachers from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, so he had the opportunity to study for some years under leading teachers from the major Buddhist traditions. He went on to teach and write extensively, and he is now the author of over forty books. Most of these are expositions of the Buddhist tradition, but he has also published a large amount of poetry and several volumes of memoirs, as well as works on aspects of western culture and the arts from a Buddhist perspective.

Sangharakshita played a key part in the revival of Buddhism in India, particularly through his work among the ex-Untouchables, and he has also been concerned throughout his life with issues of social reform. After twenty years in India, he returned to England to establish the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order in 1967 (called Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha Sahayak Gana, or TBMSG, in India) and the Western Buddhist Order in 1968.

A translator between East and West, between the traditional world and the modern, between principles and practices, Sangharakshita's depth of experience and clear thinking have been appreciated throughout the world. He has always particularly emphasised the decisive significance of commitment in the spiritual life, the paramount value of spiritual friendship and community, the link between religion and art, and the need for a ‘new society' supportive of spiritual aspirations and ideals.

Now that the FWBO is an international Buddhist movement, Sangharakshita has handed over most of his responsibilities to his senior disciples in the Order. From his base in Birmingham, he is now focusing on personal contact with people, and on his writing. "

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-11]

Detlev Kantowsky stellt den Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha Sahayaka Gana (TBMSG) so dar:


Die Entwicklungs- und Wirkungsgeschichte der „Friends of the Western Buddhist Order" (FWBO) ist hinlänglich bekannt (Dharmachari SUBHUTI, 1983), sie muss nicht neuerlich dargestellt werden. Es interessiert hier nur die spezifische Ausprägung, die der engagierte Laienbuddhismus der FWBO in Form der TBMSG („Vereinigung der Helfer des buddhistischen großen Ordens der Drei Welten") in Indien hervorbringen half (detailliert dazu neuerding: Alan SPONBERG, 1996).

Die charismatische Anziehungskraft, die SANGHARAKSHITA und der von ihm 1967 in London gegründete FWBO gerade im Bundesland Maharashtra immer noch haben, geht zurück in die Anfänge der neo-buddhistischen Bewegung. Sangharakshitas Beschreibung seiner drei Begegnungen mit Dr. Ambedkar machen zugleich aber auch einige meiner kritischen Einschätzungen zur Stellung der Maha Bodhi Society, die noch immer von Singhalesen aus Sri Lanka und Hindus aus Nordindien gesteuert wird, besser verständlich. Daher im folgenden einige etwas längere Passagen aus SANGHARAKSHITAs Buch (1986).

Dennis Lingwood wurde 1925 in London geboren und kam als Gefreiter einer Nachrichtentruppe 1944 nach Indien. Vorher schon hatte er sich in London zum Buddhismus bekannt, und so blieb er 1945 gleich im Lande und begab sich als „Saddhu" auf die Suche nach Lehrern. 1949 wurde er von U Chandramani, dem dienstältesten Theravada-Mönch in Indien, als Novize angenommen und 1950 unter dem Namen „Sangharakshita" zum Vollmönch ordiniert. Auf Anraten seines weiteren Lehrers Ven. Jagdish Kashyap Mahathera, Professor für Pali an der Benares Hindu University, übersiedelte er nach Kalimpong, um unter den nepalesischen Newars zu „missionieren". Er lebte dort fünfzehn Jahre und wurde zusätzlich zur Theravada-Tradition in die des Vajrayana initiiert: Von Geshe Dhardo Rimpoche erhielt er vor seiner Rückkehr nach England die Bodhisattva-Weihen

Damals aber noch als junger Theravada-Mönch, der gerade eine grössere Arbeit über Anagarika Dharmapala für die Maha Bodhi Society in Calcutta fertiggestellt hatte, traf Sangharakshita 1952 erstmals Dr. Ambedkar. Er suchte ihn in seinem Büro in Dadar, einem „low class" Vorort von Bombay auf und musste etwas warten, bevor Dr. Ambedkar eine Gruppe von Bittstellern verabschiedet hatte (SANGHARAKSHITA 1986:18):

When the delegation had departed Ambedkar seated himself behind his desk and, after we had exchanged the usual amenities, fixed me with an unfriendly stare, and demanded belligerently, 'Why docs your Maha Bodhi Society have a Bengali Brahmin for its president?' The word Brahmin was not only emphasized but pronounced with such contempt and scorn that the whole Brahmin caste, as well as any organization so misguided as to have a Brahmin for its president, was at once consigned to a kind of moral dustbin. Realizing that Ambedkar took me for one of the Bhikkhus (mostly Sinhalese) who ran the Maha Bodhi Society's various pilgrim-centres, I hastened to make my position clear. It was not my Maha Bodhi Society, I explained. Though I was happy to help the Society in whatever way I could, I did not actually belong to it, and one of the reasons I did not belong to it was that it had a Brahmin for ist President, as well as a Governing Body that was dominated by Caste Hindus who had no real interest in Buddhism. Some of the Buddhist members of the Society, I added, were no more satisfied with the present state of affairs than he was and both they and I hoped that before long we would be able to do something about it. This explanation appeared to mollify Ambedkar, and the fixed stare became less unfriendly. For my part, I not only sympathized with his question but knew why he had asked it with so much feeling. Not only was the President of the Maha Bodhi Society a Bengali Brahmin, but that Brahmin was also a former President of the Hindu Mahasabha, a right-wing Caste Hindu organization.

Die zweite Begegnung fand wiederum in Bombay statt und verlief sehr viel entspannter. Sangharakshita besuchte Dr. Ambedkar dieses Mal in den Räumen des Siddharth College im Zentrum der Stadt und musste detailliert Auskunft über die Formalien für eine Konversion zum Buddhismus geben, mehr noch: Am Ende der Unterhaltung bat ihn Ambedkar, bei der in Aussicht genommenen öffentlichen Feier als offizieller Vertreter des Sangha ihn und seine Frau als Laienbuddhisten zu bestätigen (SANGHARAKSHITA 1986:19/20):

We met in his office on the top floor of Buddha Bhuvan, and on entering the book-lined room I found him seated behind his desk, with Mrs. Ambedkar standing beside him. He did not look very well and apologized for receiving me sitting down. He was suffering from arthritis, he explained, and this made standing up difficult. Whether because he was in pain, or for some other reason, he was much quieter and more subdued than he had been on the occasion of our first meeting, and seemed to have lost much of his belligerence. In the course of our discussion, in which Mrs. Ambedkar also joined from time to time, mainly in order to reinforce a point made by her husband, Ambedkar explained to me at length his plans for the revival of Buddhism in India, adding that he intended to devote the rest of his life to Buddhism. Bui though he had, as it seemed, made up his mind that he and his followers should embrace Buddhism, he appeared to be uncertain as to exactly how this was to be done. At any rate, he questioned me closely on the subject and I explained that formal conversion to Buddhism consisted in 'going for Refuge', as it was called, to the Three Jewels, i.e. the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, and in undertaking to observe what were known as the Five Precepts, or five basic principles of ethical behaviour. It was as simple as that. One could 'take' the Refuges and Precepts from any Buddhist monk.

By this time Ambedkar and I had been talking a good while, and a feeling of warmth and confidence had sprung up between us, as though we were members of the same family. I was therefore not surprised when he asked me if I would be willing to administer the Three Refuges und Five Precepts to him and his followers. To this I replied that I would certainly be willing to administer them, but that their conversion would probably be taken more seriously by the Buddhist world if it took place at the hands of the oldest and seniormost monk in India, who to the best of my knowledge was U Chandramani of Kusinara, from whom I had received my own Shramanera ordination. At the time Ambedkaf seemed not to pay much attention to this suggestion, but he must have given it further thought, for it was from U Chandramani that, ten months later, he took the Three Refuges and Five Precepts. Before we. parted he did, however, ask me to write to him recapitulating everything I had said on the subject of conversion. He also asked me to speak to his followers and explain to them what conversion to Buddhism really meant.

Bei der dritten Begegnung Anfang November 1956 in New Delhi wirkte Ambedkar schon so hinfällig, dass Sangharakshita sich nicht vorstellen konnte, wie sein Gegenüber zu der Konferenz der WFB nach Kathmandu noch reisen könne.

Bei der großen Massen-Konversion am 14. und 15.10.1956 war Sangharakshita wegen einer anderen Verpflichtung nicht anwesend. Darum nahm er die Einladung gerne an, auf seinem Rückweg nach Calcutta buddhistische Freunde in Nagpur zu besuchen. Der Zufall wollte es, dass er dort eintraf, wenige Stunden bevor die Nachricht vom Ableben ihres Anführers die Neo-Buddhisten erreichte. Sein folgender Bericht über die Trauerfeier (1986:25/27) am „zentralen Ort" ist ein immer noch bewegendes Dokument und macht deutlich, wie befreiend die Unberührbaren ihre Neugeburt als Buddhisten unter der Anleitung von Ambedkar erlebt hatten, und wie groß daher ihre Erschütterung war, dass er sie nur wenige Wochen später schon verlassen musste:

I found a crowd of some 2,000 excited ex-Untouchables waiting on the platform to receive me. After being profusely garlanded I was escorted to the house of the friend with whom I had arranged to stay and then left to rest there and recover from my journey. Less than an hour later, when I was still settling into my new quarters, there was a sudden disturbance outside and three or four members of the Indian Buddhist Society burst into my room with the news that 'Baba Saheb' - as Ambedkar's followers respectfully and affectionately called him -had died in Delhi the previous night. The speakers seemed utterly demoralized. What was more, they reported that the Society's downtown office was being beseigned by thousands of grief-stricken people who, knowing that I had arrived in Nagpur, were demanding that I should come and speak to them. Pointing out that it would be impossible for me to address so many people without a microphone and loudspeakers, I told my visitors to organize a proper condolence meeting for seven o'clock that evening. 1 would address it and do my best to console people, who from the accounts that now started coming in were franatic with grief and anxiety at the sudden loss of their great leader.

A condolence meeting was therefore held in the Kasturchand Park at the time indicated. When I arrived it was quite dark and the long columns of mourners were still converging on the place from all directions. They came clad in white - the same white that they had worn for the conversion ceremony only seven weeks earlier - and every man, woman, and child carried a lighted candle, so that the Park was the dark hub of a wheel with a score of golden spokes. Partly because of their demoralized state, partly because there had been so
little time, the organizers of the meeting had been able to do little more than rig up a microphone and loudspeakers. There was no stage and, apart from a petromax or two, no lighting other than that provided by the thousands of candles. By the time I rose to speak -standing on the seat of a rikshaw, and with someone holding a microphone in front of me - about 100,000 people had assembled. By rights I should have been the last speaker but as things turned out I was the first. In fact I was the only speaker. Not that there were not others who wanted to pay tribute to the memory of the departed leader. One by one, some five or six of Ambedkar's most prominent local supporters attempted to speak, and one by one they were forced to sit down again as, overcome by emotion, they burst into tears after uttering only a few words. Their example proved to be contagious. When I started to speak the whole of the vast gathering was weeping, and sobs and groans rent the air. In the light cast by the petromax I could see grey-haired men in convulsions of grief at my feet.

It would have been strange if I had remained unaffected by the sight of so much anguish and so much despair, and I was indeed deeply moved. But though I felt the tears coming to my eyes I realized that for me, at least, there was no time to indulge in emotion. Ambedkar's followers had received a terrible shock. They had been Buddhists for only seven weeks, and now their leader, in whom their trust was total, and on whose guidance in the difficult days ahead they had been relying, had been snatched away. Poor and illiterate as the vast majority of them were, and faced by the unrelenting hostility of the Caste Hindus, they did not know which way to turn and there was a possibility that the whole movement of conversion to Buddhism would come to a halt or even collapse. At all costs something had to be done. I therefore delivered a vigorous and stirring speech in which, after extolling the greatness of Ambedkar's achievement, I exhorted my audience to continue the work he had so gloriously begun and bring it to a successsful conclusion. 'Baba Saheb' was not dead but alive. He lived on in them, and he lived on in them to the extent to which they were faithful to the ideals for which he stood and for which he had, quite literally, sacrificed himself. This speech, which lasted for an hour or more, was not without effect. Ambedkar's stricken followers began to realize that it was not the end of the world, that there was a future for them even after their beloved 'Baba Saheb's' death, and that the future was not devoid of hope.

In the course of the next four days I visited practically all the ex-untouchable 'localities' of Nagpur and made more than forty speeches, besides initiating about 30,000 people into Buddhism and delivering lectures at Nagpur University and at the local branch of the Ramakrishna Mission. Wherever I went I repeated, in one form or another, the message that I had given in Kasturchand Park: Ambedkar was not dead and his work - especially the work of conversion - must continue. When I left Nagpur I had addressed altogether 200,000 people and the members of the Indian Buddhist Society assured me that my presence at such a critical juncture was a miracle and that I had saved Nagpur for Buddhism. Whether or not I had saved Nagpur for Buddhism it was difficult to tell, but there was no doubt that during those five memorable days I had forged a very special link with the Buddhists in Nagpur and, indeed, with all Ambcdkar's followers.

In den folgenden zehn Jahren war Sangharakshita immer wieder für die Neo-Buddhisten als Lehrer tätig. Als er sich am 10. Jahrestag des Todes von Dr. Ambedkar in Nagpur von ihnen verabschiedete, kamen einhunderttausend Anhänger, um ihn noch einmal zu hören (S. 170):

„In future, I told them, I would be dividing my time between England, the country of my birth, and India, the country of my adoption, and hoped to spend six months in each of them alternatively."

Diese Hoffnungen haben sich nicht direkt, sondern indirekt über Dhammachari LOKAMITRA (Jeremy Goody, geb. 1947), einem der engsten Schüler Sangharakshitas, erfüllt. Wieder wollte es der Zufall, dass Dh. Lokamitra auf einer Studienreise in Nagpur bei Freunden von Sangharakshita zu Besuch war, als am 14. Oktober 1975 der 21. Jahrestag der Massen-Konversion gefeiert wurde (SPONBERG 1996: 89):

Traveling across India, he arrived in Nagpur, quite by chance, on the day of the twenty-first anniversary of Ambedkar's conversion. Immediately drafted by some of Sangharakshita's ex-Untouchable friends to join the speakers at a memorial service, he soon found himself addressing a half-million new Buddhists who had converged at the diksha-bhumi site. That experience and the enthusiasm for Buddhism that Lokamitra experienced among the ex-Untouchables over the next few days had a profound effect, he reports, leading rapidly to his decision to commit his life to Dharma work among the Ambedkarites. Within a matter of months after arriving back in England he had settled his affairs there, and he soon returned to India to begin working with the ex-Untouchable Buddhists. TBMSG was officially inaugurated a few months later by Sangharakshita on a visit to India that also included the ordination of several of his earlier Indian followers into the Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha (TBM), the new Indian wing of the WBO. Although Lokamitra began his work as a saffron-robed anaganka, after his first several years as a TBMSG organizer he found the monastic persona increasingly limiting, both socially and administratively. This led him to give up his monastic vows and eventually to marry into the ex-Untouchable community, a change of status he found personally as well as culturally more appropriate since most of the new Indian order members were also married householders.

In den folgenden Jahren von zwei weiteren Engländern (Dh. Virabhadra = Dr. William Stones; Dh. Padmashuri = Hilary Blakiston, vgl. ihr Buch auf S. 134) beim Aufbau eines „public health service" unterstützt (heute ist die indische Regierung mit langfristigen Aufenthaltsgenehmigungen für Ausländer zurückhaltender!), ist es Dh. Lokamitra gelungen, mit von Jahr zu Jahr steigenden Spenden aus England und neuerdings auch aus Taiwan nicht nur ein eindrucksvolles spirituelles und Verwaltungs-Zentrum in Dapodi, einem Vorort von Pune, aufzubauen, sondern von dort buddhistisch inspirierte Bildungs- und Sozialarbeit auch in anderen Landesteilen zu initiieren und zu steuern. Von KARUNA, der für diese Form buddhistischer Entwicklungshilfe eigens gegründeten Fördergesellschaft, wurde die Arbeit seit 1982 kontinuierlich unterstützt, 1994 mit 361.914,1995 mit 487.006 und 1996 mit 598.951 Pfund Sterling (KARUNA: Financial Statement).

o förderlich und hilfreich wie diese Maßnahmen in jedem einzelnen Fall gewiss sind (BELTZ 1997), langfristig noch wichtiger für die Vertiefung und Ausbreitung buddhistischer Lehrinhalte unter den indischen Neo-Buddhisten ist nach Selbsteinschätzung der Ordensmitglieder die schrittweise Ausbildung von Männern und Frauen zu buddhistischen Sozialarbeitern, von denen die Maßnahmen im Gesundheitsdienst, in den Kindergärten und Hostels, bei Alphabetisierungskampagnen und in den Laienspielgruppen zur Entwicklung neuer kommunikativer Kompetenzen inzwischen meist hauptberuflich getragen werden. TBMSG unterscheidet drei Stufen der Annäherung an diesen inneren Kreis von zur Zeit etwa 180 „Dhammacharis" bzw. „Dhammacharinis":

  • Als SAHAYAK („Helfer") steht man der Arbeit von TBMSG nahe, kommt unregelmäßig zu verschiedenen Veranstaltungen und hat meist auch nicht die Absicht, sich weitergehend zu binden.
  • Als DHAMMA MITRA („Dhamma-Freund") erklärt man sein tieferes Interesse an der Arbeit, nimmt regelmäßig und auf gezielte Einladungen hin an Schulungskursen teil und besucht auch schon Meditationskurse.
  • Als DHARMACHARI bzw. DHARMACHARINI ist man unter der Anleitung von zwei „Kalyana Mitras" („edlen Freunden") mehrere Jahre lang geschult worden und hat spezielle „retreats" für Kandidaten besucht. Die Aufnahme schließlich als Ordensmitglied mit eigenem Ordensnamen konnte bis vor einigen Jahren nur Ven. Sangharakshita vornehmen, doch seit er sich aus den Tagesgeschäften der direkten Ordensleitung zurückgezogen hat, gibt es ein „team" von (englischen) Ordensälteren, die das Aufnahmeritual durchführen können.
  • Vier indische Ordensmitglieder sind einen Schritt weiter noch gegangen und haben die Gelübde eines ANAGARIKA auf sich genommen, sie leben zölibatär und widmen sich „ganz und gar" der Ordensarbeit.

Die innere Struktur der inzwischen weltweit verbreiteten Bruder- und Schwesternschaft des WBO und die besonderen Formen und Probleme ihrer Wirksamkeit im TBM hat Dh. LOKAMITRA (1997:7) in einem Seminar an der Universität von Pune kürzlich so skizziert:

The heart of the TBMSO is a Sangha, the Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha (TBM). It is not a monastic Sangha, but nor is it a lay Sangha in the usually understood sense of the word. It is based on going for Refuge to the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha and ten precepts or principles of skilful action, speech and mind. Some live in communities and work in right livelihood situations, while others live at home with their families and work in worldly jobs. Members come from about 30 different countries. Of about 700 members world-wide about 180 come from India and these come from about 9 different caste backgrounds. Whilst most of the members in the West come from U.K., and most of those in India come from the ex-Mahar community, the TBM is beginning to provide a situation in which one's predominant experience of oneself and others in the Sangha is not in terms of caste or nation, but in terms of a human being going for Refuge to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha.

TBMSG cannot be a mass movement in that there is so much emphasis on training and individual commitment, and anyway, although it is open to all who want to make that commitment, not all are going to want to do so. That does not mean to say others will not be benefitted by the Sangha. Venerable Sangharakshita defined it as the nucleus of the new society. The members of the Sangha need to keep up contact with the wider group who, being receptive to the Dhamma will be influenced by its teaching. From the wider group come support and new members. We are not as active as we perhaps could be in this way, held back by some of the constraints that hold back the rest of the Buddhist movement, especially the increasing consumerism and old caste conditioning. Increasing consumerism seems to lead to less mobility and less inspiration. The young need to be approached in different ways. In India TBMSG is predominantly made up of one community and this seems to have a perpetuating effect in that few outsiders arc inclined to join, and we lend to stick to people with whom we are familiar. It is only when we get many more members from other communities that we will be able to effectively break down the old caste identity.

Gleiche Erfahrungen über die spezifisch indischen Grenzen eines kastenübergreifenden Gemeinschaftsansatzes macht die TBMSG auch bei den Kursen in ihren beiden Meditationszentren (LOKAMITRA 1997:5):

Dhamma shibirs concentrating on meditation and study in ideal surroundings are conducted from two large retreat centres at Bhaja near Pune, and at Bor Dharan near Wardha. There is a publications wing known as Triratna Grantha Mala which besides books on Buddhism (mainly by the Venerable Sangharakshita) brings out quarterly magazines known as Buddhayan in Marathi, Hindi and Gujarati. Most of those who participate in Maharashtra are from the ex-Mahar community, although in Kolhapur a number of people from the Matana community have converted to Buddhism and are involved in TBMSG activities. Elswhere members of other dalit and backward class communities have shown some interest but this has not so far been taken far. Recently in Mumbai and Pune, attempts have been made to contact members of other communities who are interested in Buddhist meditation.

Die Wirkung eines solchen „Dhammashibir" hat LOKAMITRA (1991:1304) in seiner Auseinandersetzung mit der Kritik von Gopal GURU (1991) an der vermeintlich privaten Aneignung des Ansatzes von Ambedkar durch die Bewegung deutlich zu machen versucht, indem er auf die überhaupt nur durch derart kontinuierliche Übungen der Selbstreflektion erreichbare Befreiung von überkommenen Ritualen und Kulten des Hinduismus hinwies:

The sad fact is that many Buddhists still worship the old gods, thus unwittingly maintaining the old religious conditioning. In the last 12 years perhaps several thousand people have attented Dhamma shibirs organised by TBMSG, where they both learn meditation and study a Buddhist text or something written by Ambedkar on Buddhism (the atmosphere is far from „restrictive" as implied in Gopal Guru's note, but is pervaded by a joy and a sense of meaningfulness that few have experienced before). Perhaps the most universal experience for those who have attended such a shibir for the first time is understanding how Ambedkar could say in the 22 vows, „Now I have taken a new life". Buddhism becomes meaningful to them as never before. They begin to understand how through Dhamma practice they can lead much more creative lives than hitherto they had thought possible, and thus develop a confidence in it that many did not have before. Most of them will go home and throw out the pictures and murtis of the old gods, having eradicated their psychological dependence on them.

Abzuwarten bleibt, ob die Organisation einmal in der Lage sein wird, ihre vielfältigen Programme und die dabei anfallenden Personalkosten aus Eigenmitteln zu finanzieren. Doch ist dies ja nicht nur ein indisches Problem; Sozialarbeit trägt sich nicht selbst, sie wird allenthalben von außen gestützt: Auch der in der damaligen Erwachsenenbildung tätige frühe Bettelorden („Bhikkhu/ni" = Bettler/in) des Buddha war für Nahrung, Kleidung, Medizin und Unterkunft (allerdings nur zur Regenzeit, im übrigen sollten „leere Behausungen und schattige Bäume" genügen) auf die Unterstützung der Gesellschaft angewiesen!

In meinem Literaturbericht hatte ich abschließend festgestellt , dass die TMBSG eine Sonderform des Buddhismus in Indien darstellt, bei der noch nicht auszumachen ist, inwiefern die durch Meditationsschulungen abgestützten sozialarbeiterischen Maßnahmen Multiplikatorfunktioncn über den engen Kreis der Geförderten hinaus haben. Dieser Befund deckt sich mit den hier referierten Selbsteinschätzungen.

Abschließend ist aber zusätzlich hervorzuheben, dass von der TBMSG inzwischen mehr als 180 Dharmacharis/charinis ausgebildet wurden, die einen an westlichen Erfahrungen der FWBO orientierten neuen Typ des „buddhistischen Missionars" repräsentieren. Dass es auch diesen „in der Welt" wirkenden „Missionaren" bislang nicht gelungen ist, die Grenzen der eigenen Herkunft überschreitende Kommunikationsstrukturen zur ganzen indischen Gesellschaft aufzubauen, muss nicht gegen den Ansatz und die Arbeit von TBMSG sprechen, sondern verweist einmal mehr auf die besonderen Integrations- und Beharrungskräfte der indischen (Kasten-)Gesellschaft."

[Kantowsky, Detlev <1936 - >: Buddhisten in Indien heute : Beschreibungen, Bilder und Dokumente. -- Konstanz : Univ., Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus", ©1999. -- 216 S. : Ill. -- (Forschungsberichte / Universität Konstanz, Arbeitsbereich Entwicklungsländer, Interkultureller Vergleich, Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus" ; 16). -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05. -- S. 118 - 131]


Abb.: Nipponzan Myohoji Tempel, Rajgir [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-0708]

Einweihung des japanischen Nipponzan Myohoji Tempels in Rajgir.


Harold G. Coward stellt zu den Ambedkar-Buddhisten fest:

"Reverence has evolved over the years into a kind of hero-worship of the sort that Ambedkar himself hated. In the rural villages statues of him are seen garlanded with flowers, and the utterance of his name is a prayer for many. But though devoted to him as their hero, these poor and generally uneducated peasants typically liave little knowledge of the Buddhist teaching he championed. In fact many who became Buddhists through the conversion ceremonies have received little further instruction in the teaching and practice of Buddhism. While Buddhists in name they carry on many of the very Hindu customs and rituals that Ambedkar was attempting to overcome. Although it has liberated some untouchables into an alternative life, for many little has changed as a result of their conversion."

[Coward, Harold G.: The revival of Buddhism in modern india. -- In: Religion in modern India / edited by Robert D. Baird.
New Delhi : Manohar, 1981. -- 497 S.  -- S. 282. -- Zitiert in: Kantowsky, Detlev <1936 - >: Buddhisten in Indien heute : Beschreibungen, Bilder und Dokumente. -- Konstanz : Univ., Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus", ©1999. -- 216 S. : Ill. -- (Forschungsberichte / Universität Konstanz, Arbeitsbereich Entwicklungsländer, Interkultureller Vergleich, Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus" ; 16). -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05. -- S. 8]


Einweihung des japanischen Daijokoyo Buddhist Tempel in Bodh Gaya, errichtet von der Dojokoyo Association of Japan


Satya Narayan Goenka (geb. 1924) über Vipassana:

"This is the Way to End Dukkha

S.N. Goenka

If a thing arises due to a certain cause, it can certainly be eradicated by eradicating the cause. Suffering, we have seen, arises because of craving (lobha) and aversion (dosa) with the base of ignorance (moha). If these are completely eliminated, then, as an automatic result, suffering will also get eliminated.

It is easy to accept this truth at the theoretical level but so difficult to realize it at the experiential level. And unless one experiences in practice the eradication of the' causes, the resultant end of suffering can never be attained. A really liberated person, a Buddha, is not interested in intellectual games. Hence, he does not merely expound the theory of the eradication of suffering; he is interested in the actual annihilation of the suffering as well. Therefore, he always shows the way to achieve this end. Thus, the way to come out of misery, the annihilation of suffering, is essentially practical, not merely theoretical.

To eradicate the sources of suffering - craving and aversion - one must know how and where they arise; only then can one perceive their base of ignorance. Through personal experience, a liberated person discovers and then teaches that they always arise whenever there is a sensation (vedana) unaccompanied by the realization that it is impermanent (anicca). These sensations arise whenever there is a contact of a sense-object with a sense-door : material vision with the eyes, sound with the ears, odour with the nose, taste with the tongue, touch with the body, thought with the mind. If the sensations arise and one does not realise (at a deep., level inside) that they are impermanent (anicca) then one will fail to comprehend (at the same interior depth) that they are not "I," not a soul (anatta), and one's reaction to them will bring nothing but suffering (dukkha).

Craving and aversion must be eradicated at their source -that is, at the arising of the sensations and one's ignorance of it and its true nature. To do so one must first develop the ability to be aware of all the sensations within the body. For this purpose the mind should be trained to become sharp and sensitive enough to feel the sensations at all levels. Along with this distinct awareness, one must also develop the faculty of maintaining equanimity towards all the sensations -pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral - while deepening one's understanding of the changing nature of every sensation at the experiential level. Maintaining this awareness with equanimity, one will certainly not react; when the sensation arises, one will not again generate craving or aversion.

How to develop these two faculties which liberate the mind? A way was found which could be understood and practised.

To start with, one should at least abstain from vocal and physical actions which contribute to one's mental agitation. One should refrain from speaking lies, harsh words, or slanderous talk, or idle gossip. One should refrain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, and intoxicants. One should avoid a means of livelihood which causes harm to others. With the base of this morality (sila), one makes proper efforts and begins to develop awareness of sensations at least in one small area of the body. To do so, one sits quietly, cross-legged, back straight, with closed eyes, observing the natural flow of inbreath and outbreath at the entrance to the nostrils. Working for some time with this awareness of respiration, one develops the ability to keep the mind fixed on a single object of attention : the area below the nostrils, above the upper lip. With this heightened concentration (samadhi), one becomes capable of experiencing the natural, normal, physical sensations in this area.

The mind is now acute enough to begin experiencing sensations throughout the physical structure.

Systematically, diligently, and repeatedly, one moves the attention through the body, gradually strengthening awareness of sensations, while at the same time, by remaining equanimous, one gradually increases one's ability not to react to them. With this training - the awareness of the present moment and equanimity (sati ca upekkha) - the pattern of thought begins to change, from thoughts of craving, aversion, ignorance to thoughts of Dhamma, or the way out of suffering.

But merely thinking of Dhamma will not result in liberation from suffering. For that, one must continue to develop the faculties of awareness and equanimity. This very development will then cause wisdom to arise. Without elation over pleasant sensations or depression in the face of unpleasant ones, one begins to understand not merely intellectually but experientially that these sensations are nothing but manifestations of the contact of mind, and the mental objects of the mind, with matter - phenomena which are as impermanent and ephemeral as the sensations themselves. Something so ephemeral (so anicca!) as these sensations cannot be a basis for real happiness; rather they can only be a source of misery and suffering (dukkha). One also starts realizing at the experiential level that the entire mental phenomenon, the entire physical phenomenon, and the combination of these two is certainly not "I," not "mine," not "my soul!" Thus, one sees in one's self the beginnings of egolessness (anatta). In this way, by experiencing mind and matter (reality) as it is, in its nature, with its true characteristics, the meditator develops real wisdom (panna), and emerges from illusions and delusions (moha). One is not playing an intellectual .game nor an emotional or devotional game. One develops wisdom at the actual experiential level.
Thus, by maintaining awareness and equanimity, one gradually weakens the old habits of craving and aversion. Even when reaction does occur, it is less intense, and passes more quickly. It no longer has such a powerful impact on the mind.

The more one remains fully aware and equanimous, not allowing new reactions of craving/aversion to occur, the more one gives an opportunity to one's stock of old reactions, of suppressed mental defilements, to rise to the conscious level of the mind, one by one, to be eradicated. Layer after layer, these past conditionings come to the surface. By maintaining equanimity, one gets them eradicated, and thus finds relief from misery. This is the way to achieve the end of suffering. Whenever one experiences an unpleasant sensation on the body the old habit pattern of the mind will have a tendency to 'boost up" the old stock of the conditionings (sankhara) of aversion. At this stage if one continues to remain unaffected, equanimous, with the wisdom of anicca, these conditionings (sankharas) will loose their strength; will become more feeble and more feeble and will eventually get eliminated.

Just as one makes use of the unpleasant sensations to reduce, make feeble and eradicate one's stock of aversion so also one makes use of the pleasant sensations to reduce, make feeble and eradicate one's stock of craving. In just the same way the neutral sensations are used to eradicate one's stock of ignorance. These "stocks" of sankhara at the unconscious level are nothing but one's accumulations of misery and suffering (dukkha). To whatever degree one gets these defilements eradicated, to that degree he is free of suffering. Step by step, remaining aware and not reacting (sati ca upekkha), one advances on the path, until sooner or later one reaches the stage when the entire accumulation of past reactions has been eradicated and the very habit of reacting itself disappears. Freed from all craving, aversion, ignorance - past, present, and future - one experiences total freedom from suffering.

To reach this stage one has to work ardently. Simply reading articles, or engaging in discussions or debates, will not suffice. The only way to achieve liberation is by one's own efforts - the effort to observe the reality of oneself, within the framework of one's body, without reacting to it. This is the way to achieve the end of suffering.

This "Way" of sila, samadhi and panna is the only way to get oneself liberated from all miseries. Of these three it is the panna, - not suttamayapanna (listening to discourses and reading Dhamma), not cintamayapanna (intellectual appreciation of the theories of Dhamma), but only the bhavanamayapanna (actual, practical application of Dhamma in meditation) which alone can root out the causes of suffering. This was Buddha's enlightenment; this was Buddha's own practise to get himself liberated and it is what he taught mankind in order to help all people everywhere to get themselves liberated. When the Buddha was alive, and even before, there were those who practised perfect sila. There were those who practiced such powerful samadhi that they were able to attain all eight jhanas (states of concentration). There were also those who claimed to have panna but their panna was definitely not bhavanamayapanna. It was this bhavanamayapanna that Gotama discovered inside, developed and through it became a Buddha. It was this discovery that made him a Buddha and it was this that he continued to teach to mankind even up to his very last breath.
A Buddha is never interested in establishing a sect. Thus, his teaching is never sectarian; it is always universal. He teaches Dhamma and Dhamma can never be sectarian. A Buddha never establishes a philosophy (ditthi). A philosophy is an intellectual or a devotional game and cannot liberate anyone. He teaches samma ditthi which is the actual truth that can be realized only at the experiential level. This is bhavanamayapanna. This is the way to achieve the end of suffering.

May we all prove worthy of Buddha's teachings by practising bhavanamayapanna. and thereby get ourselves liberated from all our sufferings.
May all come out of their suffering and enjoy real happiness, real peace, real harmony."

[Journal of the Maha Bodhi Society. --  Vol. 92( July-September, 1984). -- S. 111-113. -- Wieder abgedruckt in: .A panorama of Indian Buddhism : selections from the Mahabodhi journal, 1892-1992 / edited by D.C. Ahir. -- Delhi, India : Sri Satguru Publications, 1995. -- 623 S. -- ISBN 8170304628. -- S. 205 - 210]

1984-10-10 bis 15

First International Conference on Buddhism and National Cultures in New Delhi. Man diskutiert Methoden, den Buddhismus im Westen zu verbreiten.


Abb.: ™Logo

Satya Narayan Goenka (geb. 1924) gründet in Igatpuri das Vipassana Research Institute. [Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09}

"The Vipassana Research Institute (VRI) was established in 1985 for the purpose of conducting research into the sources and applications of the Vipassana Meditation Technique. The VRI is adjacent to the Vipassana International Academy (VIA), known as Dhamma Giri ("Hill of Dharma"), located in Igatpuri, a small town about 136 km from Mumbai in the state of Maharastra, India. The VIA is one of the world's largest centres for the practice of Vipassana, offering on-going meditation courses, serving upto 600 people per course, throughout the year.

Current Projects of the Institute

  • Tipitaka Project: The VRI's research work focusses on two main areas: translation and publication of the Pali texts, and research into the application of Vipassana in daily life. Twenty five centuries ago Pali was the lingua franca of northern India, the dialect in which the Buddha taught. Just as Sanskrit is the canonical language of Hinduism and Latin the canonical language of Catholicism, Pali is the classical language in which the teachings of the Buddha have been preserved. The Pali sources are the Tipitaka (the Pali canon); the sub-commentaries, called the Atthakatha, Tika and others such as Anu-tika, Madhu-tika, etc.
    The entire Pali Tipitaka is now available on the internet.
  • Research: In addition to researching the Pali Texts, the Institute conducts research into the personal and interpersonal effects of Vipassana Meditation. This work includes studying the effects of controlling and purifying the mind, and improved moral conduct and harmonious personality development; and, as well, the application of Vipassana in the areas of health, education and social development. The Institute has also studied the benefits of Vipassana on drug addicts and jail inmates in particular. All these studies enable a comparison with the results that are mentioned in the Pali texts.
  • Seminars: From time to time, VRI sponsors international seminars on various aspects of the research work as it applies to the actual experience of Vipassana. It features an opportunity for the participants to participate in a 10-day Vipassana course after the presentation of the seminar papers and this experiential aspect has proven to be popular as well as beneficial. In a very tangible way, the practice of meditation throws light on the research presented in the papers.It gives an opportunity for the participant to experience what was presented in the seminar.
  • Vipassana Newsletter: This is a monthly issue, published in Hindi and English and contains articles by S.N. Goenka and other students sharing their experiences. It also serves as a means for Vipassana students all over the world to derive inspiration from and stay in touch with the teachings.
  • Other Publications: The Institute has published several titles over the last decade. Click here for a complete list and ordering details.
  • Vipassana and Pali Studies Programme: Clearly research work is best done by those with direct experience of the Buddha's teaching. VRI offers an annual year-long residential programme in Vipassana and Pali studies. The programme provides a foundation in both the theory and practice of Vipassana. This system of scholarly and meditative approaches makes the programme unique. Periods of academic study are alternated with participation in the VIA meditation courses. Daily meditation practice, intensive retreats and service at the Academy are part of the curriculum and this in turn deepens the experience of meditation and service.

VRI is one of the few places in the world where Dhamma students can integrate both pariyatti (theory) and patipatti (practice)--what S.N. Goenka calls "the gem set in gold"--in one setting."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]


Der Dalai Lama weiht den Santivana Buddha Vihara in Deulpara, Bengalen ein. Gestiftet wurde der Tempel von dem lokalen Geschäftsmann Tarak Chandra Bairi und Gemahlin. Der Tempel kostete ca. 1.600.000 Rupies. Sein Bau dauerte 14 Jahre.


Abb.: Sanghasena
[Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-07-10]

Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena gründet das Mahabodhi International Meditation Center in Ladakh

Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2005-07-01

"Venerable Bhikkhu Sanghasena was born in the Himalayan region of Ladakh- a state in the northern most part of India.

He was brought up in a religious family among people with an ancient Buddhist tradition where peacefulness, humility and innocence are the way of life. At seventeen, he joined the Indian Army where he developed a strong sense of discipline. The year 1997 was a significant year in his life when he felt the inner spiritual call, he left the army and became a disciple of the renowned scholar and celebrated monk, Venerable Acharya Buddharakhita Maha Thera, the Founder President of the Mahabodhi Society Bangalore India. After having received full ordination, Ven. Sanghasena undertook enthusiastic studies of the Dharma and also practiced various modes of Buddhist meditation. In 1986 Ven. Sanghasena founded the Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre (MIMC). Since then he has strived tirelessly to put the Buddha’s teachings of compassion into action through multifarious charitable humanitarian works scattered over the 230 acres of moon-like desert land. The major activities carried out by MIMC are as follows:

  • Mahabodhi Meditation Program, dedicated to realization of inner peace and harmony.
  • Mahabodhi Residential School and Mahabodhi Boys & Girls Hostel- dedicated to holistic education and providing home for the deprived children.
  • Mahabodhi Timisgam Branch School, dedicated to advancement of education for rural children.
  • Mahabodhi Karuna Charitable Hospital for the welfare of the sick people.
  • Mahabodhi Phandeyling Nunnery, dedicated to the upliftment of the Nuns and women.
  • Mahabodhi Home for the Aged and Destitute. Devoted to care and respect to the elderly and destitute.
  • Mahabodhi Women literacy project, dedicated to the empowerment of women.
  • Mahabodhi Maitry Charity program, dedicated to charity for social welfare.
  • Mahabodhi environmental projects, dedicated towards aforestation and nature conservation.
  • Mahabodhi Interfaith program, dedicated to inter-religious harmony.
  • Mahabodhi Mobile Health Clinic, dedicated to healthcare for remote communities.
  • Milarepa Meditation and trekking Camps, dedicated to spiritual life with nature.
  • Mahabodhi Youth Wing, dedicated to character building of youth.
  • Mahabodhi Right Livelihood Enterprise- a step towards sustenance of MIMC.
Ven. Sanghasena has distinguished himself as a tireless spiritual and social worker and in public recognition of his selfless services to the society, he was awarded the ‘National award for the welfare of people with disabilities’ by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. He also received several awards and certificates from a number of international organizations. In 1999 his name was included in the prestigious book Marquis’ who is who. Marquis who’s who believes the men and women around the globe whose achievements influence the people of today are worthy of permanent record. In 2002, he was nominated as the ‘Man of the year 2002’ by the American Biographical Institute, ABI Inc.

Ven. Bhikkhu Sanghasena has traveled extensively around the world and participated in many international conferences, seminars and workshops. He urges everyone to promote spiritual; and cultural values, literacy, environmental protection, non-violence, vegetarianism, inter-religious harmony, co-existence and world peace. He supports the elevation of the status of women, poverty stricken people and raises his voice against destructive weapons, human injustice, consumerism, economic imbalance and racism.

Ven. Sanghasena is also associated with several international organizations such as:

  • Executive President Mahabodhi Society, Bangalore India.
  • Member of the Board of Directors, Buddha’s Light International Association, Los Angeles.
  • Vice President, World Fellowship of Buddhist Youths, Bangkok.
  • Executive member of the World Buddhist Sangha Council, Taiwan.
  • President, International Association of Religious freedom, Ladakh Chapter, Leh.
  • Director, Vipassana Valley Project Ladakh.
  • Founder president, Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, Leh Ladakh."
[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-07-01]



Abb.: Riesen-Buddha, Bodh Gaya [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-08]

Einweihung der größten Buddha-Statue Indiens in Bodh Gaya. Gestiftet wird sie von den Daijoko-Buddhisten Japans.


Abb.: Der Dalai Lama mit Nobelpreis-Urkunde und -Plakette [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]

Der 14. Dalai Lama erhält in Oslo den Feriedensnobelpreis


Zur Feier des 100. Geburtsjahres von Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (1891 - 1956) verlieren Dalits, die sich zum Buddhismus bekehren, nicht mehr den Status und die Privilegien als Angehörige von Scheduled Castes. Bisher hatten Dalits, die zum Buddhismus konvertierten und das registrieren ließen, den verfassungsmässigen Status als Angehörige der Scheduled Castes verloren. Durch Act 15 of 1990 erhält The Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 (C.O. 19) das im Folgenden fett hervorgehobene Amendment:

"In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of article 341 of the Constitution of India, the President, after consultation with the Governors and Rajpramukhs of the States concerned, is pleased to make the following Order. namely :_

1. This Order may be called the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order, 1950

2. Subject to the provisions of this Order, the castes, races or tribes or parts of, or groups within, castes or tribes specified in 2[Parts to [XXII] of the Schedule to this Order shall, in relation to the States to which those Parts respectively relate, be deemed to be Scheduled Castes so far as regards member thereof resident in the localities specified in relation to them in those Parts of that Schedule.

3. Notwithstanding anything contained in paragraph 2, no person who professes a religion different from. the Hindu [, the Sikh or the Buddhist religion shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste.

4. Any reference in this Order to a State or to a district or other territorial division thereof shall be construed as a reference to the State. district or other territorial division as constituted on the 1st day of May, 1976"

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-11]

Jetzt wollen christliche oder muslimische Dalits eine Gleichstellung mit Buddhisten und Sikhs.


Die Maha Bodhi Society feiert ihr hundertjähriges Bestehen

D. Kantowsky fasst Geschichte und Gegenwart der Maha Bodhi Society so zusammen:


Don David Hewavitarne wurde am 17. September 1864 als erstes Kind des Möbelfabrikanten Don Carolis Hewavitarne und seiner Frau Mallika geboren. Die Eltern waren praktizierende Buddhisten, aber wie zur damaligen Zeit in Kreisen der aufstrebenden singhalesischen Bourgeoisie üblich besuchte ihr Sohn anglikanische Missionsschulen in Colombo und trat nach dem Abschluss in die britische Kolonialverwaltung (Bereich Erziehungswesen) ein. Beeinflusst durch die neobuddhistische Erneuerungsbewegung im Lande (BECHERT 1988:47 ff.) und enge Kontakte mit Colonel Olcott, beschließt er 1886 sein weiteres Leben ganz der Erneuerung des Buddhismus zu widmen. Mit Zustimmung der Eltern quittiert er den Dienst und nennt sich fortan Anagarika (Nicht-Behauster) Dharmapala (Beschützer des Dharma). 1891 reist er, aufgerüttelt durch die Berichte von Sir Edwin Arnold in englischen Tageszeitungen (AHIR 1994:95 ff.), nach Nordindien, um sich selbst ein Bild vom desolaten Zustand der Stätten des frühen Buddhismus zu machen. Von Sarnath aus kommend trifft er in Begleitung des japanischen Shingon-Mönch Kozen Gunaratne, den er auf einer Konferenz der Theosophischcn Gesellschaft kennengelernt halte, am 21. Januar 1891 mit der Bahn in Gaya ein und notiert dazu (AHIR 1994:107) in seinem Tagebuch:

After driving 6 miles (from Gaya) we arrived at the holy spot. Within a mile you could see lying scattered here and there broken statues etc. of our blessed Lord. At the entrance to the Mahant's temple on both side's of the portico there arc statues of our Lord in the altitude of meditation and expounding the Law. Mow elevating! The sacred Vihara - the Lord sitting on his throne and the great solemnity which pervades all round makes the heart of pious devotee weep. How delightful! As soon as I touched with my forehead the Vajrasana a sudden impulse came to my mind. It prompted me to stop here and take care of this sacred spot - so sacred that nothing in the world is equal to this place where Prince Sakya Sinha gained Enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree... When the sudden impulse came to me I asked Kozen priest whether he would join me, and he joyously assented and more than this he had been thinking the same thing. We both solemnly promised thai we would slop here until some Buddhist priests came to lake charge of the place.

Damit beginnt die Geschichte der „buddification" (DOYLE 1997:16) von Bodh Gaya und der bis heute andauernden Bemühungen, den „Ort der Erleuchtung" zu einem Jerusalem aller Buddhisten" (TREVITHICK 1988) auszubauen und den von Hindus vor Jahrhunderten „okkupierten" Haupttempel des Ortes in allein-buddhistische Verantwortung zu überführen. Sie ist in den zwei vorstehend genannten Dissertationen nachgezeichnet und dabei der Prozess der sozio-religiösen Konstruktion von neuen Wirklichkeiten akribisch dokumentiert worden. Hier sollen Details daraus immer nur insofern interessieren, als sie zum Verständnis der aktuellen Situation wichtig erscheinen.

Am 31.5.1891 wurde „The Buddha Gaya Maha Bodhi Society" mit Anagarika Dharmapala als Generalsekretär in Colombo gegründet. Ziel der Gesellschaft war es, den „Maha Bodhi Tempel" möglichst umgehend zurückzugewinnen und den Buddhismus in Indien wieder einzuführen. Schon 1892 wurde die Geschäftsstelle der Gesellschaft nach Calcutta, die damalige Hauptstadt des kolonialen Empire verlegt und noch im gleichen Jahr mit dem „Maha Bodhi Journal" ein wichtiges englisches Sprachrohr zur weltweiten Verbreitung der Ziele der Gesellschaft geschaffen, die Anagarika Dharmapala auf dem Parlament der Weltreligionen in Chicago 1893 so wirksam vorgetragen hatte, dass er anhin mit internationaler Unterstützung seiner Ziele rechnen konnte. Im fast wörtlichen Sinne lebenswichtig wurde ihm dabei die anhaltende Förderung durch Mrs. Mary Foster (1844-1930) aus Honolulu, die er an Bord der „Oceanic" auf der Weiterreise von den USA nach Japan kennenlernte (AHIR 1989:17):

The Parliament of Religions ended on 27 September, 1893. After delivering a few more lectures in America, Dharmapala sailed for India via Japan and China. A chance meeting with Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Mikhala Foster on Board the S.S. Oceanic at Honolulu on 18 October 1893 proved of immense significance both for Mrs. Foster as well as for Dharmapala. Mrs. Foster was born in the far off Hawaii islands in the Pacific Ocean and was a descendent on her mother's side of King Kamehameha the Great of Hawaii. She was married to a wealthy merchant of North America. It is said that she was of an indomitable temper which she was unable to control. As a remedy for this ailment, Dharmapala advised her to cultivate will-power, and to repeat the formula „I will be good, I will control the rising anger." These simple words of a practising Buddhist worked wonders. Mrs. Foster was able to get over her temper and gained serenity. She was so deeply impressed by this change that she decided to divert her enormous wealth for the spread of the gospel of the Buddha for which Dharmapala was trying hard.

Trotz aller Anstrengungen und internationaler Unterstützung gelang es Dharmapala bis zu seinem Lebensende nicht, den Haupttempel in Bodhgaya für die Buddhisten zurückzugewinnen: Er verlor im Rechtsstreit gegen den Mahant (Abt) des hinduistischen Kloster von Bodh Gaya, zu dem der Haupttempel seit Ende des 16. Jahrhunderts „gewohnheitsrechtlich" gehörte.

Erfolgreicher dagegen waren Anagarika Dharmapalas Aktivitäten in Sarnath. Mit Unterstützung vor allen auch hier wieder durch Mary Foster entstand auf dem historischen Gelände des „Gazellenhain", wo Buddha erstmals seine befreienden Erfahrungen weitergegeben hatte, ein großer buddhistischer Tempel. Die Bauarbeiten für die „Mulagandha Kuti Vihara" begannen 1922 und wurden 1931 abgeschlossen (AHIR 1991:130):

Abb.: Mulagandha Kuti Vihara, Sarnath

[Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05]

The foundation stone of Mulagandhakuti Vihara, the life of new Sarnath, was laid in November 1922 by Sir Harcourt Butler, the Governor of the United Provinces. The name 'Mulagandakuti' has a historic basis. This name was first used for the monastery in which Lord Buddha actually resided. During the archaeological excavations at Sarnath a piece of tablet was found on which this name was inscribed. This discovery prompted Anagarika Dharmapala to name the new Vihara as 'Mulangandhakuti Vihara'. The Mulagandhakuti Vihara cost about Rs. 1,20,000 and the principal donor was Mrs. Mary E. Foster of Honolulu, who is generally called the modern Visakha of the Buddhists.

This magnificent Vihara was opened on November 11, 1931 (Kartik Purnima). On the same day, the sacred relics of Lord Buddha, which were discovered from Taxila, Punjab, in 1913-14 by Sir John Marshal, were presented by the Director General of Archaeology to the Maha Bodhi Society on behalf of the Government of India, and enshrined in this Vihara.

Hier trat Anagarika Dharmapala im gleichen Jahr als Novize Devamitta (Götterfreund) Dharmapala in den Sangha der Mönche ein, hier auch wurde er im Januar 1933 zum Vollmönch ordiniert. Als er drei Monate später starb, wurden Überreste seines in den letzten Lebensjahren teilweise gelähmten Körpers auf dem Tempelgelände eingeäschert. Alljährlich zum November-Vollmond wird in einer Feier der Gründung und Einweihung der Mulagandhakuti Vihara gedacht (vgl. S. 46).

Der folgende BRIEF (vgl. S. 51 f.) aus dem Jahre 1925 vermittelt einen Eindruck vom agitatorischen Stil Anagarika Dharmapalas; dass er sich ähnlich polemisch fast immer geäußert hat, wenn es um ,Andersgläubige" ging, das zeigt ein umfangreicher, in Sri Lanka herausgegebener Sammelband mit Texten von ihm (GURUGE 1965). Doch wäre der ,Beschützer des Dharma" wohl nicht so wirksam gewesen, hätte er immer nur polemisiert.

Abb.: Anagarika Dharmapala auf Besuch im Buddhistischen Haus Paul Dahlkes

[Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05]

Auf seiner im Brief angekündigten Europareise besuchte Anagarika Dharmapala auch das von Dr. Paul Dahlke 1924 gegründete Buddhistische Haus in Berlin-Frohnau; seine „liebenswürdige Persönlichkeit" hinterließ dort einen bleibenden Eindruck (FISCHER 1974):

Erfreulicher und harmonischer verlief die Begegnung mit einer anderen bedeutenden Persönlichkeit, die wenige Jahre später das Haus besuchte: Venerable Anagarika Dharmapala. Er war wohl acht oder zehn Tage bei uns, und wenn wir abends in der Bibliothek zusammensaßen, strahlte er so viel gelassene Heiterkeit, so viel Humor aus, dass sonst ernste Gespräche oft von seinem und unserm fröhlichen Lachen unterbrochen wurden. Am Tage, wenn Dr. Dahlke seine Sprechstunde abhielt, pflegte er oft im Tempel oder im offenen Vorraum zu sitzen und halblaut Pali-Verse zu rezitieren. Seine hohe, imponierende Gestalt in der gelben Robe und seine liebenswürdige Persönlichkeit kann man so leicht nicht vergessen.

Abgesehen von der polemischen Schärfe des Briefes von Dharmapala bleibt bemerkenswert, daß er als einziges Dokument „aus seiner Feder" in einer zum hundertjährigen Bestehen der Maha Bodhi Society in Bodh Gaya erschienenen Festschrift aufgenommen wurde!

Das hier anschließend (vgl. S. 55) daraus außerdem noch wiedergegebene Dokument soll die offizielle Selbsteinschätzung der Maha
Bodhi Society durch ihren Generalsekretär kennzeichnen. Ausführlicher dazu dann weiterhin die Darstellungen aus dem „Centenary Volume" von „Maha Bodhi" (vgl. S. 56 bis 60), der 1892 von Anagarika Dharmapala gegründeten Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft. Verfolgt man diese Selbstbeschreibungen über andere Publikationen der Gesellschaft dann weiter (vgl. S. 61 bis 62), so ergibt sich daraus und aus den eigenen Beobachten „vor Ort" das folgende Bild zur Einschätzung der Wirkung der „Maha Bodhi Society" für den Buddhismus bzw. auf die Buddhisten in Indien heute:

  • Die MBS hat gegenwärtig acht Zentren in (Nord-)Indien, sie arbeitet an fünf weiteren (auch südindischen) Orten mit anderen Gruppen in sog.,Affiliated Centres" zusammen.
  • Gesteuert wird die Arbeit aus der Zentrale in Calcutta. Die Mittel für außerordentliche, über den „laufenden Betrieb" hinausgehende Maßnahmen kommen aus Spenden, neuerdings vor allem aus Japan.
  • Die MBS versteht sich nach wie vor als eine „Missionsgesellschaft" zur Verbreitung der Lehre des Theravada. Entsprechend rekrutiert sie ihre hauptamtlichen Vertreter noch immer aus dem singhalesischen Klerus von Sri Lanka (AHIR 1998:59-76), wo derartige „Missionsarbeit" hohes Prestige hat. Die entsprechende Rotation der „Missionare" bedingt allerdings, daß sie die indische Landessprache(n) oft nur mangelhaft sprechen.
  • Die Bhikkhus der MBS sind ganzjährig ortsgebunden. Sie wirken als Repräsentanten des Sangha in ihren jeweiligen Viharas und darüberhinaus als Moderatoren von angegliederten Maßnahmen vor allem im Erziehungs- und Gesundheitsbereich.
  • Nachgerade überlebenswichtig für die vielen Pilger aus Sri Lanka sind die Herbergen der MBS in Bodhgaya und Sarnath.
  • Nach wie vor wichtig für die internationale Vermittlung der Aktivitäten der MBS und die angemessene Reflektion der Lehren des Pali Kanon an eine englischsprachige Leserschaft ist „The Maha Bodhi" (vgl. ,A Panorama of Indian Buddhism", 1995).
  • Zur neo-buddhistischen Bewegung in Indien jedoch haben die singhalesischen Repräsentanten der MBS ein recht distanziertes Verhältnis, weil die eigenwillige Neuinterpretation des Dhamma durch Dr. Ambedkar (1957) von ihnen nicht akzeptiert wird (JATAVA 1997:67-85).
  • Umgekehrt wird die MBS von der neobuddhistischen Bewegung nicht akzeptiert, weil sie ,Bengali high caste interests" repräsentiere (vgl. dazu hier besonders S. 59/60).
  • Besonders auffällig präsent ist die MBS in der vergleichsweise aufgeräumten und überschaubaren Welt von Sarnath.

    Abb.: Gemälde in Mulagandhakuti Vihara

    [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05]

    Die Mulagandhakuti Vihara mit ihren schönen Fresken aus der Lebensgeschichte Buddhas (gestiftet von B.L. Brownton, einem englischen Buddhisten, und in dreijähriger Arbeit von dem Japaner Kosetsu Nosu gestaltet) und der umliegende saubere Park mit den Resten von Klosterruinen und Stupas aus der klassischen Hoch-Zeit des indischen Buddhismus sind eine gerne besuchte stille Zuflucht und bieten besonders an Wochenenden „all walks of Indian life" eine willkommene Abwechslung zur lärmenden Enge ihrer Wohnquartiere in Benares. Das schmucke kleine Verwaltungsgebäude der MBS wurde kürzlich mit Spenden einer recht vermögenden Japanerin gründlich renoviert und vermittelt mit dem pagodenartig auskragenden neuen Dach einen exotischen Kontrast zur „neo-klassischen" Strenge der großen Pilgerherberge auf der gegenüberliegenden Straßenseite, ein Geschenk der Industriellenfamilie Birla an die MBS.

  • Ganz anders dagegen die Verhältnisse in Bodh Gaya, dem Ausgangspunkt der von Anagarika Dharmapala vor mehr als hundert Jahren angestoßenen Bewegung zur Wiederbelegung des Buddhismus in seinem Ursprungsland: Hier hat der internationale Bau-Boom mit vor- und nachgelagertem Wildwuchs von Bazar und fliegenden Händlern inzwischen den ehemals freistehenden Gebäudekomplex der MBS sozusagen überwuchert."

[Kantowsky, Detlev <1936 - >: Buddhisten in Indien heute : Beschreibungen, Bilder und Dokumente. -- Konstanz : Univ., Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus", ©1999. -- 216 S. : Ill. -- (Forschungsberichte / Universität Konstanz, Arbeitsbereich Entwicklungsländer, Interkultureller Vergleich, Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus" ; 16). -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05. -- S. 41 - 50]

Eine Hindu-Sicht der Vorgänge in Bodh Gaya gibt:

Das, Balindralal: The Maha-Bodhi temple and the monastery of Bodh-gaya. -- o.O., o.J. -- 147 S.


Gründung des Buddhagaya Mahabodhi Mahavihar All India Action Committee (MAC) in Nagpur, geführt von zwei Mönchen:

Über Shurei Sasai:

"Bhante-G alias Nagarujun Surei Sasai

Sasai-G (Indian Name)

Sasai Shurei (Japanese Name)

Abb: Shurei Sasai

Born in 1935, Okayama Prefecture, Japan.

At the age of 31 he went to India to devote himself to the pursuit of Buddhism. Because of his religious/social activities in India, he was given 3 warnings by the government of India to leave the country. After ignoring these warnings, he was arrested by the police. When news of his arrest spread to the people of Nagpur (where Sasai lived), there was a demonstration, and supporters in Nagpur started up a petition to free him. The petition was then taken to then Prime Minister Rajiv Ghandi, and in 1987, Sasai was freed and given Indian Nationality.

Nagpur, a town in the heart of India, is where Sasai works to improve the welfare of the Untouchables by improving their education, and doing research into the history of Buddhism in India, preserving buddhist ruins, remains and relics in India, and building buddhist temples.

He also worked to regain control to the Main temple in Bodhgaya for Indian Buddhits. This is his main priority at the moment.

He also would like to create Karate dojos in Nagpur to aid in the cultural exchange between India and Japan.

In 1994 he won the Dr. Ambedkar International Prize. Some of the previous recipients of the Dr. Ambedkar International Prize have been the Dalai Lama, Nelson Madela, Mother Theresa and Yassir Arafat of the PLO.

Born into a family with a Christian Father and Buddhist mother, his formative years were spent living through WWII and the chaos of the Occupation. He went to Taisho University to study Buddhism, then went wandering and fended for himself when times were tough, being a hobo, a vagabond, bilking restaurants and hitching rides on trains, and even getting into brawls. After he attempted suicide several times, he became a buddhist monk, first entering a Shingon Sect Monastery.

Then in 1964 he went to Thailand, and after about 2 years of study and asceticism, he felt a desire to see India. And so in 1966 he first travelled to the North-East of India, to Rajgeel, where he studied at the "Nihon Zan Myo Ho Ji" (Nichiren Buddhist Sect) Temple for one and a half years.

The day before he had to return to Japan, sitting under a full moon, he maintains that he saw a vision of Nagarujun. Nagarujun was a holy man who lived in the 2nd century, and who made a comprehensive survey of Mahayana Buddhism during his lifetime. Nagarujun had a long white beard, and light shined from behind him, and he spoke to Sasai in japanese. He said to Sasai:

"I am Nagarujun. You must immediately go to NanTen RyuGu. Your Dharma is my Dharma, my Dharma is your Dharma. You must immediately go to NanTen RyuGu."

He beleived the vision, and looked in a map to find NanTen RyuGu [Japanese for "South Heaven Castle of the Dragon"] . In India "Nag" means "dragon" and "pur" means "town", so he deduced that Nagpur must be the town the Nagarujun was talking about, especially since Nagpur is in the "south" of India. He went to Nagpur, and has been devoting himself to the resurgence of Indian Buddhism there for the last 30 years."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-13]


Zelliot, Eleanor <1926 - >: From untouchable to Dalit : essays on the Ambedkar Movement. -- New Delhi : Manohar Publications, 1992. -- 350 S.

Über Eleanor Zelliot:

"Eleanor Zelliot

In 1997 Eleanor Zelliot retired after teaching for 28 years at Carleton College. As a professor of history there, and through her work with the highly successful ACM India Studies program in Pune, she taught and trained hundreds of undergraduate students to think and write about the history of South and Southeast Asia, and to make the most of the rich intellectual and cultural opportunities available to them in India.

Eleanor’s work as a scholar has focused on the life and legacy of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, the framer of the Constitution of modern India and the founder of the Republican Party of India. Ambedkar was a leader of the Dalits, people who in his day were called "Untouchables." Eleanor’s historical work on Ambedkar, on the Buddhist conversion of the Dalits for which he was largely responsible, and on the subsequent cultural and literary movements has "changed the paradigm" in the study of South Asia. She has done this by focusing scholarly attention on the view of Indian culture and society from below and on the vibrant social and cultural life of contemporary Dalits.

Eleanor’s interaction with her subject has been engaged and personal as well as industrious and cogent. She traveled to India during the period of the American Civil Rights movement; and her chosen topic and later involvements have grown out of her attempts to understand both South Asia and North America. Where many scholars would fear losing their academic objectivity by becoming too deeply involved with their subject, Eleanor has been a model example of moving in close without losing perspective. She has maintained her distance well enough to be invited by the Indian government as a visiting scholar and, at the same time, she is deeply respected by Dalits, who remain at the painful and contested bottom of India’s social and economic life.

Eleanor Zelliot has made an important difference to the ways in which Americans and South Asians understand South Asia and America. With her dedication to teaching and scholarship about Asia, with her love of and long-term involvement in the life of the people she has studied and written about, and with her commitment to furthering the common work of articulating understandings of South Asia, she embodies the ideal of service to our profession."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-18]

Auszüge aus Zelliots Werk:

"The presence of (he picture of Ambedkar in all Buddhist viharas and at all Buddhist functions seems to set Indian Buddhists today apart from the main Buddhist tradition. The inclusion of 'Babasaheb' Ambedkar as an object of reverence is the most visible innovation in the practice of contemporary Buddhists in India. The Buddha and Babasaheb in plaster, stone, poster-art and painting, in song and drama and story, the two seemingly of near-equal importance, rarely one without the other, are continual evidence that contemporary Indian Buddhism proudly combines its own tradition with that of the main Buddhist tradition. Ambedkar is neither worshipped nor prayed to, nor of course is the Buddha. No puja is performed, no navas (vows) are made to either figure, so their functions are not those of a Hindu god. But at every occasion, both figures are garlanded, the Buddha first; incense is lit; and Bhagwant Gautam Buddha and Parampujaya Babasaheb Ambedkar are addressed before the speaker acknowledges the Chairman of the function and the 'Brothers and Sisters'.

Another broadly-accepted way of honoring Ambedkar is to add the diminutive of his first name, Bhimrao, to the list of refuges, i.e. Bhimam saranam gacchami, so that the "Three Jewels' become four:

I go for refuge to the Buddha;
I go for refuge to the Dhamma (doctrine);
1 go for refuge to the Sangha (order of monks);
I go for refuge to Ambedkar."

"The new buildings dedicated to the Buddhist religion in Maharashtra, as well as the old buildings converted to Buddhists' use, are called viharas, the technical term for the residence of the Buddhist monks. The words for temple in Marathi, deal and mandir, are studiously avoided, and the only term for a gathering place in the old Buddhist tradition seemed to be vihara. The need of today 's Buddhists, however, is not so much living quarters for bhikkhus as a meeting place for the laity, a place where the image of the Buddha can be kept, the community can gather for lectures on Buddhism or for wandana (d.h. die Rezitation religiöser Texte, das hinduistische Wort ,puja' wird bewusst vermieden, D.K.) and children can be instructed. As in the case of other lay elements in Buddhist structure, there was in India no living model for the place of gathering of the Buddhist community, so the multi-purpose vihara came into being.

The vihara most often is a plain rectangular structure, embellished where possible, with architectural detail from the most accessible models of Buddhist structures: the caves of Ajanta and the stupa of Sanchi. These buildings are newly built whenever the Buddhists of some locality have the money and the cooperative spirit to create a symbol of their newly accepted faith. In many villages, the caudi (communal hall) of the old Maharwada (the quarters of (he Mahar, somewhat removed from the village proper), does double service as community meeting room and center for Buddhist activities. I have seen few Hindu temples converted to Buddhist use, probably because few were completely in the hands of those Mahars who converted.

The vihara of Buddhists today is not an imitation of a Hindu temple. There is no pujari or ritual priest, there is no stream of individual worshippers paying homage to the image. The vihara serves chiefly as a symbol of the community's faith and as a center for the community to gather as Buddhists. And since knowledge is seen as a Buddhist virtue both Buddhist and secular education can easily be combined with its religious functions."

"Now, after twenty years, it seems clear that Buddhism in India will continue its strong emphasis on the laity and lay leadership. It is still the lay leadership that does most of the teaching and preaching, writes most of (he religious material that continues to flow from the movement, collects the money and plans the vihara. But there are increasing numbers of Marathi-speaking bhikkhus appearing, it seems not so much from the need of the community as from their own individual commitments to Buddhism.

The function of the bhikkhus in Buddhist Society in Maharashtra seems primarily to be teaching, although it seems also true that the very presence of a bhikkhu is an important symbol of the identity of a Buddhist group. I have met any sorts of bhikkhus during my visits to India. In the 1960s the Ven. Sangarakshita of England and Kalimpong devoted half of each year to teaching in Maharashtra and Gujarat. He preached many sermons, his English being translated into Marathi by one of the young Buddhist students, and he also conducted samnera, a period of ten days or so in which Buddhist laity lived as monks.

Singhalese, Burmese and Japanese bhikkhus have been a service to the community at various times, their effectiveness dependent upon their ability to communicate and their attitude toward the still generally economically and socially depressed community.

"The anniversary of the day of the conversion, October 14, is celebrated as Dhamma Diksa Day by those who can return for a great ceremony to the field in Nagpur where the 1956 conversion was held; others hold local observances of varying sorts. Buddha Jayanti, the day of observance of the Buddha's birth, has been observed since 1950, when Ambedkar arranged for the celebration as a public occasion in Delhi. The Jayanti is
a time for speeches, music, drama on Buddhist themes and occasionally a solemn procession. Ambcdkar's death day, December 6, is a time for quiet and sorrowful gatherings, and talks or music by one of the many singers or singing groups in the community predominate. Ambedkar's birth date, April 14 on the other hand, is a noisy and joyful occasion. Here the borrowings from the processions found in Hinduism, Islam and Jainism are clear. As in the Muslim Moharram or the Hindu Ganapati festival, local groups form committees, which plan their contribution to the city-wide procession. In Poona, the central point is the statue of Ambedkar near the railway station, and groups of dancing, shouting youngsters and older men march from their scattered localities to Ambedkar Square. The Maharashtrian dance game legim often is played by the marchers, as in the Ganapati festival, although the Buddhists have at least one girls' group, which the Hindus do not. One group rented the city zoo's elephant in 1976 to carry Ambedkar's photograph in the procession."

[Zelliot, Eleanor <1926 - >: From untouchable to Dalit : essays on the Ambedkar Movement. -- New Delhi : Manohar Publications, 1992. -- 350 S.  -- S. 227 -231. -- Zitiert in: Kantowsky, Detlev <1936 - >: Buddhisten in Indien heute : Beschreibungen, Bilder und Dokumente. -- Konstanz : Univ., Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus", ©1999. -- 216 S. : Ill. -- (Forschungsberichte / Universität Konstanz, Arbeitsbereich Entwicklungsländer, Interkultureller Vergleich, Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus" ; 16). -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05. -- S. 13 - 15]


Gründung des Vipassana Sadhana Sansthan (affiliiert zu S. N. Goenka <1924 - >)

Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2005-07-01

"Vipassana Sadhana Sansthan is a public trust established in New Delhi on 26th day of May 1993, with the following objectives.
  • To Establish and operate institutes for teaching and training in Vipassana, a science of meditation.
  • To conduct courses, arrange lectures and discourses on Vipassana.
  • To conduct research on the beneficial effects of Vipassana.

The trust has been duly registered with the Registrar of Documents as well as with the Income - Tax authorities and continues to enjoy exception under section 80G of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The trust, since its inception, has been actively involved in.

  • Conducting regular 10 days Vipassana meditation courses at Logicstat Farms, New Delhi and at Dhamma Sota Sohna.
  • Holding 3 days Vipassana meditation courses for old students;
  • Conducting 2 & 3 days children's courses for Anapana meditation;
  • Conducting 1 day Children's course in Schools.
  • Coordinating the distribution of Guruji's lectures, talks and dohas on audio and video cassettes.

Apart from organizing Vipassana meditation courses, the trust has been participating in various workshops, symposia and seminars being organized at Delhi by different organizations of create awareness about Vipassana meditation. The trust has regularly been putting up stalls in perfect Health Mela and fairs organized by Bharat Nirman at Delhi. In its endeavor to made the common man aware of Vipassana technique of meditation, the trust have in the past years organized lecture series of Sayagyi Shri S.N. Goenkaji on Vipassana Sadhana Respectively in the year, 1993, 1998 and 2000.

During the past several years the trust has been in existence, almost entire population of APEEJAY Group of Schools has been initiated in ANAPANA Meditation by conducting almost 30 to 40 in house one day courses in the various schools run and managed by APEEJAY Education society, besides this courses for children have been held in various other private and public educational Institutions including institution for blind, deaf and dump children.

In the year 1994 the trust hosted an international seminar on Vipassana titled "Vipassana and its relevance to the present World" at New Delhi from 15th to 17th April, 1994. This seminar was attended by distinguished personalities from various segments of society.



The trust lent its active support to the administration of Tihar Jail in holding regular meditation courses for the inmates and participated in the historical event in the year 1994 when Shri Goenkaji presided over the first ever 10 days Vipassana meditation courses for more than one thousand persons at Dhamma Tihar ( Tihar Jail) Enthused by the positive response of the inmates of Tihar Jail in their behavior pattern, the jail administration has now set up two meditation centers separately for the male and female for holding regular 10 days Vipassana meditation courses. The management of the trust continues to lend its support to the jail authorities for conducting such courses as and when the trust is required to do so.

The trust also assisted Police Training College situated in Delhi in setting up an independent centre named "Dhamma Rakkhaka".

Few years before, the trust successfully organized workshop of Dhamma workers which was coordinated by senior teacher and was attended by serious meditators from Delhi and adjoining areas.



Gründung des Vietnamesischen Buddhistischen Klosters in Lumbini (Nepal): Vietnam Lumbini Buddha Bhumi Vihara, dem Geburtsort Buddhas]


Statistik der von  S. N. Goenka (geb. 1924) geleiteten Vipassana International Academy, Dhamma Giri, in Igatpuri bei Bombay für das Jahr 1995:


Burra, Neera <1951 - >: Caste, conversion and identity : a case study of village Mahars. -- In: Caste, its twentieth century avatar / edited and introduced by M.N. Srinivas. -- New Delhi : Viking ; New York, N.Y. : Penguin Books, 1996. -- 306 S. -- S. 152 - 173

"Birth, marriage and death are three important occasions that I studied. With respect to birth, ceremonies are not frequently performed except when there is a son born after many daughters or when there is a birth after a long childless marriage. Out of the 10 births between 1980 and 1983, there were ceremonies only on two occasions. On both occasions, the ceremonies performed were according to Hindu rites and, importantly, the pictures of Ambedkar and the Buddha were removed at the time of birth. The explanation given to me was that Ambedkar, a man of learning to whom respect was due, should not be present at the time of the pollution which accompanies birth. Out of 102 Mahars interviewed about birth ceremonies, the answers were as follows: 25 persons said they performed Buddhist ceremonies; 67 said they performed Hindu ceremonies, six people said that there was no Buddhist equivalent to a Hindu rite and four were not sure." [S. 164f.]

,,My experience of rural Mahars suggests that it would be perhaps misleading to define the neo-Buddhist movement primarily as a conversion movement. It goes beyond the arena of religion and assumes enormous polictical dimensions. Religious conversion today, more than before, is a symbol of identity formation. As a self-respect movement for a new identity, it has certainly achieved its goal and the Mahars, under Ambedkar's guidance, are no longer prepared to accept their position in society and are willing to fight tooth and nail for what Ambedkar called manuskichya haka or the right to humanity. One might say that the neo-Buddhist movement has had its greatest impact on confronting, challenging, and to some extent, changing the received belief in the mind of the Mahar that he is a lesser mortal than those of the higher castes. It would seem that, after Ambedkar, the ideology of inequality cannot any longer have the same grip on the Mahar as it had hitherto.

To sum up, one would argue that while the spiritual aspects of Buddhism and its rites and rituals have not been integrated into the daily lives of rural Mahars, the secular values Ambedkar sought to propagate through the medium of Buddhism have had a significant effect upon the lives of the villagers of Ambegaon." [S. 168f.]

[Zitiert in: Kantowsky, Detlev <1936 - >: Buddhisten in Indien heute : Beschreibungen, Bilder und Dokumente. -- Konstanz : Univ., Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus", ©1999. -- 216 S. : Ill. -- (Forschungsberichte / Universität Konstanz, Arbeitsbereich Entwicklungsländer, Interkultureller Vergleich, Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus" ; 16). -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05. -- S. 37f.]


Abb.: World Peace Pagoda in Vaishali [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-08]

Einweihung der japanischen  World Peace Pagoda in Vaishali


Abb.: Zeremonie des Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha Sahayaka Gana im Saddhamma Pradeep Retreat Centre in Bhaja, 1997-03-16

[Bildquelle: Beltz, Johannes <1967 - >: Mahar, Bouddhiste et Dalit : conversion religieuse et émancipation sociopolitique dans l'Inde des castes. -- Bern [u.a.] :  : Lang, ©2001. -- 380 S. : Ill. -- (Studia religiosa Helvetica : Series altera ; 5). -- Zugl.: Lausanne, Univ., Diss., 2000. -- ISBN 3-906766-23-3. -- S. 265]


Abb.: Novizenordination von Ambedkar-Buddhisten, Nashik, 1997-05-20

[Bildquelle: Beltz, Johannes <1967 - >: Mahar, Bouddhiste et Dalit : conversion religieuse et émancipation sociopolitique dans l'Inde des castes. -- Bern [u.a.] :  : Lang, ©2001. -- 380 S. : Ill. -- (Studia religiosa Helvetica : Series altera ; 5). -- Zugl.: Lausanne, Univ., Diss., 2000. -- ISBN 3-906766-23-3. -- S. 250]


Abb.: Vipassana im Gefängnis [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-11]

"Divinity Descends On Prison

K.G. Suresh

Pickpockets preaching peace, murderers mastering mind control and dacoits dwelling on divinity—uncommon and unheard of things are happening these days at the capital's high-security Tihar Jail.

The progressive reforms have touched the hearts of Tihar's hardened criminals.

The Prison authorities are using Vipassana, one of India's most ancient meditation techniques to bring about this change.

"I have stopped lying. I have stopped fighting over frivolous things. I am always at peace." says Sheikh Nisar Ahmed, inmate of jail number five, the country's first prison for adolescents in the age group, 16 to 21.

"I used to be a drug addict and indulged in all sorts of crime. But after attending this camp, I find myself a changed person. I will never hurt my parents again," claims young Subhash, who has been involved in a number of cases.

Nisar and Subhash are among 160 prisoners who participated in a unique just concluded, 10-day Vipassana meditation camp.

Organised by the jail authorities in association with the Vipassana Sadhana Sansthan, "The basic idea of conducting the camp was to help Inmates combat the stress of day to day prison life. Meditation helps them unwind and shed complexes," says R.S. Gupta, inspector general at Tihar, one of the largest prison complexes in Asia.

'The camp has worked wonders for the inmates. Several prisoners have voluntarily admitted that they had committed crimes. There has also been a general attenuation in the inner feeling to take revenge against people who they believed had falsely Implicated them or wrongly convicted them," said Jayadev Sarangi, deputy inspector general.

"Previously a three-day camp was held for about 550 prisoners and after the camp, a separate ward was set up for them. We noticed that in that ward there were no administrative problems, nor were there any cases of violent incidents," Jayadev added.

Describing the Vipassana method of meditation, Dr. Subhash Sethi, who along with other teachers from the sansthan, conducted the camp said, "It is a technique of purifying one's mind of its baser instincts so that one begins to manifest truly human qualities."

"This is achieved in a scientific manner by developing the habit of paying minute attention to whatever is happening within us", he adds.

A Vipassana centre offering continuous courses was set up in the jail complex during the ex-inspector general, Kiran Bedi's tenure.

"It proved to be Immensely beneficial and the idea is now gaining popularity," says Gupta.

Vipassana is gaining popularity outside the prison as well as Delhites are learning to cope with the pressures of leading satisfying lives.

[Delhi Times, The Times of India, Delhi September 23, 1997. -- Zitiert in: .India : 50 years of independence, 1947-97 : status, growth & development. -- Delhi : B. R. Publishing Corp. -- Vol 6: Buddhism / by D. C. Ahir >1928 - >. -- ©1998. -- 212 S. -- ISBN 8170189861. -- S. 141 - 143]


Abb.: Plan der Grand Vipassana Pagoda, Mumbai [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-11]

Der Vipassanalehrer S. N. Goenka (geb. 1924) und seine Gattin legen in Bombay den Grundstein zur größten Pagode der Welt.

Als Zwecke dieses Mammutgebäudes werden angegeben:

"With this background in mind, the purpose of building a Vipassana Pagoda is as follows:

  1. This huge monument will attract large numbers of people who will get the true message of Vipassana and be encouraged to practise it.

  2. Following the instructions in the last will of the Enlightened One, the genuine Buddha relics will be enshrined at the centre of a large central hall where about 10,000 Vipassana students can sit and meditate jointly, getting advantage of the powerful vibrations emanating from the relics.

  3. During the past nearly one-and-half to two millennia, the actual historical truth about the life and teachings of the Enlightened One has not only disappeared from the country of its origin but a gross misinformation has spread making him a mythological divine figure, completely forgetting his historical human reality. Besides, his rational, scientific teachings were totally misunderstood and became wrongly considered as just another of the many sectarian dogmas and religious tenets. The Pagoda will have an informative gallery exhibiting the actual historical life of the Buddha, and the benefit of the practice of Vipassana derived during his lifetime.

  4. The Pagoda will be a vehicle for the spread of the Buddha's true teaching that emphatically opposes any sectarian, casteist, religious dogmas. The teaching is already proving to be an ideal bridge for peace, tolerance and harmony across all the communal and regional divides splintering India today. The strongly secular nature of Vipassana is further proved by its acceptance amongst people of all religions, nations, sects and socio-cultural backgrounds. Vipassana courses are taking root in even some of the staunchly sectarian countries.

  5. With the genuine relics enshrined, the Pagoda will become a centre of tremendous attraction for the devotees of the Buddha around the world to come and pay their respects to the relics and get the message of Vipassana - the quintessence of the teaching of the Enlightened One that is lost in their countries also. Hence, this magnificent structure will also be a great symbol for creating goodwill amongst countries that have traditionally revered the Buddha.

  6. Centuries ago, India served humanity at large by distributing the invaluable gift of Vipassana. This proved so very effective and beneficial that people accepted and adopted it wholeheartedly. History now is repeating itself, with the rapid spread of Vipassana to many countries across the six continents. The Vipassana Pagoda will be a central symbol of this spiritual tradition.

  7. This monument will be an added focus of attraction to visitors and tourists worldwide, who come to this ancient country looking for its rich cultural traditions or something magnificent in the spiritual field. The sheer size, grandeur and architectural style of the Pagoda itself will be sufficient to gain its entry into tourist maps. Even the tourists who visit the Pagoda as merely another monument to sight-see, will get the great opportunity to receive the true teachings of the Enlightened One, understand their benefits and may be inspired to follow the practical path of Vipassana.

  8. The main purpose for the construction of the Pagoda, however, is to give greater impact to the teachings of the Buddha by injecting fresh life and vitality with the introduction of Vipassana. This will also make clear the true perspective of the historical Buddha as a great therapist (cikicchako), a physician (bhisako), a surgeon (sallakatto), a research scientist (ariya sacca gavesi pariyavesi). This is how he used to describe himself during his lifetime, as found in the original words preserved in his mother tongue - Pali. The aim is also to expose his teaching as the greatest practical science of self-psychotherapy that the world has ever acquired."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-11]

1998-02-15 bis 23

Bodhgaya International Full Ordination Ceremony

"The International Full Ordination Ceremony in Bodhgaya
by Venerable Thubten Chodron©

Abb.: Nonnenordination

The International Full Ordination Program in Bodhgaya, India, February 14-23, 1998, was organized by Master Hsing Yun and Fo Kuang Shan Temple in Taiwan. It drew 146 participants (132 of them women) and was remarkable in many ways. It was one of the first major steps to re-establish the bhikshuni (full ordination for women) ordination in countries such as Sri Lanka where it had died out centuries ago and to introduce this precious ordination in countries and traditions where it has not previously existed. Previously, only a few of us from traditions that lacked the bhikshuni ordination had gone to Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Korea to receive it, while two small ordinations were held in the USA and two in France in recent years. The bhikshuni ordination was given by both the bhikshuni and bhikshu sanghas, as is stipulated in the Vinaya, the monastic discipline.

Second, the ordination program was truly international, with people from 22 countries. Four of the new bhikshus were from the Congo and are now studying Dharma in Taiwayn. There were about 18 new Western bhikshunis, 20 Sri Lankans, 28 from Maharastra (India), and about 8 Nepalese, as well as many others. The bhikshuni lineage had spread from Sri Lanka to China in the 5th century, and died out in Sri Lanka in the 11th century due to the ravages of war. Now it went back from the Chinese to the Sri Lankans. As I witnessed the Sri Lankans taking the bhikshuni vow, I wondered if they were the incarnations of those previous Chinese bhikshunis and if the Chinese giving the vow were the incarnations of the Sri Lankan bhikshunis or vice versa? Or, as someone pointed out to me, perhaps all of them have already become enlightened and this was a whole new batch!

Also significant was that about nine well-respected Sri Lankan bhikshus participated in the ordination. Until now there has been strong resistance in the Theravada tradition to re-introducing the bhikshuni lineage, so their approval and participation was a major step. In addition, a Burmese monk and Thai monk -- both from traditions that also are resistant to introducing the bhikshuni ordination -- took part in giving the ordination. One Tibetan monk was among those giving the ordination and His Holiness the Dalai Lama had sent a representative to observe the procedure. However, the absence of Tibetan nuns taking the ordination was sadly noticed: only two Tibetan nuns were there, all the others of the Tibetan tradition being from the West or from Ladakh. However, two Western bhikshunis from the Tibetan traditions -- Ven. Karma Lekshe Tsomo and myself -- had been invited to be witnessing acharyas among the bhikshunis who gave the vow.

The Maharastra nuns were ex-untouchables who converted to Buddhism since the 1950s. They are most were poor and under-educated. They follow the Theravada tradition, and their teacher, a monk also from Maharastra, brought them to Bodhgaya for the ordination. They ranged in age from 20 to 80. The 20-year-old is now studying Dharma in Taiwan and has lots of potential. I met her mother, who was very supportive of her daughter's ordination. Initially the organizers were not going to allow the older women, who were all novices already, to ordain. In Taiwan ordination of the elderly is discouraged because they don't want people joining the monastery simply to have place to live and others to care for them in their old age. But during the individual interview that each candidate did, the 80-year-old nun said she'd kill herself if they refused her. Needless-to-say, the master changed his mind! Everyone admired her determination. Although some of the other older nuns had trouble physically with the discipline, the 80-year-old bowed and kneeled with everyone else, even though she had to use a cane to walk. She inspired everyone!

The Nepali nuns, who are also Theravada, faced resistance from the Nepal monks, but one who is supportive accompanied them here and participated in the ordination, and that, too was a big step. They were young and eager to learn and practice.

For me it was a humbling privilege to be part of the 12-member bhikshuni sangha giving the ordination. As we walked into the hall, with the big drum beating and the large bell ringing, I thought, "If I were to die suddenly, now, while giving the ordination, I would be happy with my life." The longer I'm ordained, the more precious ordination is, the more I value the kindness of those who preserved it through the centuries, and the more I pray to be able to keep it purely, inspire others to receive and keep it, and pass it on to others. Practicing in a temple with other monastics brings a very special energy -- a feeling of purity and noble aspiration -- that I haven't experienced elsewhere.

The new moon day after the program ended, the eight bhikshunis who remained in Bodhgaya met at the stupa to do sojong, our bi-monthly confession and purification ceremony. We requested to use the room on the second floor inside the stupa and there we did the ceremony by candlelight. As far as I know, this was only the second time since at least the 11th century that sojong had been done by bhikshunis in Bodhgaya, the first time being at the first Sakyadhita meeting in 1987. All of us felt a special joy as concluded the ceremony -- a special joy that comes from being a monastic."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-18]


Abb.: K. L. Advani mit US-Staatssekretär Colin Powell, Washington DC [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-13]

K. L. Advani (geb. 1929) , Präsident der Bahratiya Janata Party und Union Home Minister, erklärt den Buddhismus zu einer Form des Hinduismus:

"LESS than two months after Vishwa Hindu Parishad secretary B. L. Sharma 'Prem' launched his infamous tirade against Christians, rationalising the rape of four nuns in Madhya Pradesh as the expression of the "anger of patriotic Hindu youth against anti-national forces", and barely two weeks after Murli Manohar Joshi tried to impose a blatantly communal agenda upon school education in the name of "Indianisation", comes Union Home Minister L. K. Advani's attempt to "Hinduise" Buddhism by denying that it has an independent identity of its own. The three discrete interventions are closely inter-related and form the Sangh Parivar's three-pronged strategy: to assimilate forcibly non-Hindu religions into a Hindutva mould, deny and suppress minority rights guaranteed by the Constitution, and launch a virulent attack on religious minorities in order to create new insecurities.

Advani delivered himself of some newfangled wisdom on November 6 at Sarnath, while addressing an "international" seminar on "World Unity in the Buddha's Trinity" as part of the Buddha Mahotsav organised by Union Tourism Minister Madan Lal Khurana, and much publicised in the media in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The Buddha, he declared, "did not announce any new religion. He was only restating with a new emphasis the ancient ideals of the Indo-Aryan civilisation." According to The Telegraph (November 7), "Advani said (the) Buddha derived his teachings from the Bhagvad Gita and was an avatar of Vishnu." "

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-13]


Abb.: Devotionalbild: Die beiden Leuchten Buddha und Dr. Ambedkar (Original farbig)

[Bildquelle: Beltz, Johannes <1967 - >: Mahar, Bouddhiste et Dalit : conversion religieuse et émancipation sociopolitique dans l'Inde des castes. -- Bern [u.a.] :  : Lang, ©2001. -- 380 S. : Ill. -- (Studia religiosa Helvetica : Series altera ; 5). -- Zugl.: Lausanne, Univ., Diss., 2000. -- ISBN 3-906766-23-3. -- S. 140]

Kantowsky, Detlev <1936 - >: Buddhisten in Indien heute : Beschreibungen, Bilder und Dokumente. -- Konstanz : Univ., Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus", ©1999. -- 216 S. : Ill. -- (Forschungsberichte / Universität Konstanz, Arbeitsbereich Entwicklungsländer, Interkultureller Vergleich, Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus" ; 16). -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05

Kantowsky fasst den Stand der Kenntnisse über die Neobuddhisten Maharashtras (Ambedkar Buddhisten) so zusammen:


Der vorstehende Literaturbericht sammelte Beobachtungen über Verhaltensmuster in den drei zentralen Bereichen von Kommerz, Kommens und Konnubium bei Neo-Buddhisten in Maharashtra, die einer sozial-reformerischen, von Dr. B. R. Ambedkar entwickelten Variante des Theravada folgen.

Festgestellt werden konnte für den Bereich Kommerz:

  • 1. Fast alle Neo-Buddhisten, das sind etwa 90 v.Hdt. der indischen Buddhisten insgesamt, stammen aus der Kaste der traditionell unberührbaren Mahar.
  • 2. Neo-Buddhisten verweigern wann immer möglich die verunreinigenden und rituell diskriminierenden Verpflichtungen ihrer Kaste. Diese Verweigerung gelingt ihnen meist dann durchzuhalten, wenn es möglich ist, außerhalb des Dorfes alternative Beschäftigungen zu finden. Andernfalls wurde festgestellt, dass Neo-Buddhisten in Knappheitslagen gezwungen werden können, die verunreinigenden Tätigkeiten der Mahars wieder aufzunehmen.
  • 3. Neo-Buddhisten meiden den Kontakt zu Kasten, die ihre verunreinigenden Tätigkeiten übernommen haben bzw. an traditionell verunreinigenden Tätigkeiten weiterhin festhalten.
  • 4. Auch bei gelungenem Einstieg in neue, rituell quasi neutrale Berufe werden Neo-Buddhisten als ehemalige Mahars wahrgenommen und diskriminiert.

Für den Verhaltensbereich Kommensalität wurde festgestellt:

  • 5. Neo-Buddhisten verändern ihre Ess- und Trinkgewohnheiten. Fleisch, besonders das von gestorbenen Rindern, wird nicht mehr gegessen. Dem Alkohol und anderen berauschenden Getränken wird gemäß buddhistischen Tugend-Regeln öffentlich abgeschworen.
  • 6. Neo-Buddhisten meiden die Tischgenossenschaft mit "unreinen Kasten", denen sie in einem Beispiel den Zugang zum Brunnen verweigerten.
    7. Neo-Buddhisten nehmen am hinduistischen Fest-Kalender nicht mehr öffentlich teil, sondern feiern unter sich vier buddhistisch inspirierte Fest- bzw. Gedenktage an Buddhas Geburt, Ambedkars Geburts- und seinen Todestag, sowie die große Massenkonversion in Nagpur.
  • 8. Gemäß neo-buddhistischem Gelübde wird zwar versucht, die Feste von hinduistischer Ritualistik zu entkleiden, dennoch scheint es, als würden über die Deifikation von Buddha und Ambedkar Formen naiver Volksfrömmigkeit und Devotion wieder aufleben und praktiziert werden.
  • 9. Trotz aller Bemühungen um "Bereinigung" und Sanskritisierung ihres Verhaltens werden Neo-Buddhisten in überschaubaren Situationen nicht als gleichwertige "Tischgenossen" akzeptiert, sondern über Sitzarrangements, Ess- und Trinkgerätschaften sowie Speisearten nach wie vor abgewertet.
  • 10. Im modernen Handlungskontext wie z.B. bei formell egalitär verfassten Dorfversammlungen können Neo-Buddhisten zwar von Fall zu Fall ihre rituelle Gleichbehandlung durchsetzen, doch enthalten die daraufhin getroffenen Arrangements meist neuerliche Diskriminierungen und akzentuieren einmal mehr die "unreine" Herkunft der "Mahar-Buddhisten".

Für den Verhaltensbereich Konnubium wurde festgestellt:

  • 11. Die Eheverbindungen von Neo-Buddhisten werden von den Eltern arrangiert; sie folgen klassischen Endogamieregeln und sind patrilokal orientiert.
  • 12. Auch bei sozialreformerisch artikulierten neo-buddhistischen Hochschuldozenten wurden "inter-caste marriages" nicht festgestellt, waren die Ehen von den Eltern endogamiegerecht arrangiert und die Haushalte von so gestifteten "modernen urbanen Kernfamilien" über eine Fülle von Verpflichtungen patrilokal verknüpft mit dem dörflichen Herkunftsmilieu der Eltern des Bräutigams, die man mit Geldzuweisungen unterstützte.
  • 13. Hochzeitsfeierlichkeiten finden nicht im Haus der Brauteltern, sondern in einem "Vihara", dem Kult- und Versammlungsraum neo-buddhistischer "Gemeinden" statt. Sie sind vergleichsweise kurz und schlicht, nur vegetarisches Essen ohne Alkohol wird gereicht, und man bemüht sich, die Gesamtkosten überschaubar zu halten, um so den bei Hindus üblichen lebenslänglichen Verschuldungen der Brauteltern durch Mitgift und Geltungskonsum bei mehrtätiger Bewirtung von oft mehreren hundert Gästen zu entkommen.
  • 14. Sofern er im Nahbereich sesshaft ist, wird das einfache Verbündungsritual durch einen Bhikkhu zelebriert. In der Mehrzahl der berichteten Fälle jedoch waren es darin bewährte Laien, die das Zeremoniell leiteten und die Verbindungsformeln auf Pali vorgaben.
  • 15. Insgesamt ließ sich feststellen, dass vollamtliche Priester weniger bedeutsam für die neo-buddhistischen Gemeinden sind: Deren Funktionen können gemäß einem durch Ambedkar geprägten Verständnis von Buddhismus weithin auch von aufgeklärten Mitgliedern der Gemeinde selbst übernommen werden. Zudem scheint es, dass die meisten neo-buddhistischen" Gemeinden" gar nicht in der Lage sind, religiöse Heilsspezialisten dauerhaft freizusetzen und angemessen zu versorgen.

Eine durch ausländische Mittelzuwendungen und Bildungshilfe geförderte Sonderform des Neo-Buddhismus in Indien hat sich in Form des TBMSG mit Hauptschwerpunkt der Arbeit in/um Pune gebildet. Inwiefern die von dort initiierten und durch Meditationsschulungen abgestützten sozialarbeiterischen Maßnahmen tatsächlich die von ihren westlichen Initiatoren behauptete Multiplikatorfunktion über den engen Kreis der direkt Geförderten hinaus einmal haben werden, das bleibt abzuwarten. Der offensichtliche Erfolg von TBMSG und die gezielte Öffentlichkeilsarbeit der FWBO für die Aktivitäten der Tochterorganisation sollte uns nicht ablenken vom Gesamtbefund:

Gemessen an den sozialreformerischen Zielen ihres Gründers war die neobuddhistische Bewegung bislang nur begrenzt erfolgreich. Weder gelang es ihren Anhängern, den Diskriminierungen des Hinduismus zu entkommen, noch sind sie selber bereit, sie gegenüber niedriger stehenden Kasten aufzugeben. Ihre "Neugeburt" als Buddhisten hatte zwar die Verweigerung traditionell verunreinigender Berufsrollen zur Folge, sie hat aber nicht gleichzeitig auch bewirkt, dass man zu kasten-transzendierenden Formen von Kommensalität und Konnubium fand. So scheint es, als sei "Neo-Buddhist" heute zum Namen für eine neue, nicht berufsspezifisch definierte Kaste von rituell nach wie vor Unterprivilegierten geworden. Die Tatsache, dass die Neo-Buddhisten mit Erfolg ihre Aufnahme in die liste der "scheduled castes" betrieben haben, um so die Vorteile der "protective discrimination" gegenüber "high-caste Hindus" zurückzuerhalten, bestätigt diese Deutung.

Inwiefern dieser gesamtgesellschaftliche Befund auf der individuellen Deutungsebene durch ein neues Selbstwertgefühl und entsprechend emanzipierte Handlungsstrategien kompensiert werden kann, so wie das neo-buddhistische Autoren in ihren Texten und Dramen projezieren, ist nicht eindeutig auszumachen. Leicht(er) zugänglich, wie uns solche schriftlichen (Selbst)Beschreibungen von Intellektuellen auch sind, wir sollten vorsichtig sein, wenn wir sie als Quelle über die tatsächlichen Kommunikationsmuster in den Dörfern von Maharashtra und anderswo heranziehen!"

[Kantowsky, Detlev <1936 - >: Buddhisten in Indien heute : Beschreibungen, Bilder und Dokumente. -- Konstanz : Univ., Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus", ©1999. -- 216 S. : Ill. -- (Forschungsberichte / Universität Konstanz, Arbeitsbereich Entwicklungsländer, Interkultureller Vergleich, Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus" ; 16). -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05 . -- S. 26 - 29]


Einweihung des Wat Thai Kusinara Chalermraj in Kushinagara [Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]

"This Thai Buddhist Temple, in the land of Buddhism, at the location of Lord Buddha's Nirvana at Kushinagar, is created from the project of returning Buddhism to the land of its origin. This project has been initiated since B.E. 2537 (1994) by the Thai Sankha, Indian and Thai Buddhist, to worship the Lord Buddha, and to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Accession to the Throne and the 72nd Birthday Anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulyadej, King of Thailand, in B.E. 2542 (1999).

His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulyadej has graciously given this Temple the name of " Wat Thai Kusinara Chalermraj " and the royal monogram " Bhor Por Ror " to be affixed on the front gable.

His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulyadej also graciously bestowed the name of "Phrabuddhasayambhuyan" to the presiding Buddha image of this temple.

Somdej Phra Yansangvara, His Holiness the Supreme Patriach of the Kingdom of Thailand, performed the religious inauguration of this Temple on 21st February B.E. 2542 (1999).

Wat Thai Kusinara Chalermraj operates under the auspices of Wat Thai Bodh Gaya, Bihar, and with the patronage of the Royal Thai Embassy, New Delhi, and the Royal Thai Consulate - General, Kolkata.

Abb.: Maha Chetiya

The most important shrine of the monastery is the Maha Chetiya where the Buddha's relic are housed. Not all monasteries could have a Chetiya because the Buddha's relic are very rare. This is the only Royal Chetiya ever built outside Thailand. His Majesty King Bhumibhol Adulyadej has graciously given the design of this Maha Chetiya. Her Royal Highness Princess Cakri Sirindhorn represented His Majesty to lay the foundation stone of the Maha Chetiya on March 30th 2001.  "

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]


Francois Gautier (1950 - ) über indischen Buddhismus:

"Francois Gautier

Buddhism makes a comeback in India

There is little doubt that Buddha came at a time where Hinduism had got bogged down in too much philosophical talk, rituals and casteism -- it would need much later a Shankaracharya to give it again a new impetus -- and Buddhism offered a simple way out of human misery to anybody, whatever their caste and social status. This may explain why at the beginning of our era, the entire northern and eastern India was practicing Buddhism.

Unfortunately, after Buddha's death, his followers and disciples gradually made of Buddhism a religion of rigid tenets, dos and don'ts, which not only diminished Buddhism's popular appeal, but also may have harmed India. This harm has two facets: Non-violence and Maya.

Many Buddhists like to believe that Buddhism disappeared from India, because it was slowly "swallowed" back by Hinduism at the hands of the vengeful Brahmins, who had lost their principal source of income with the self-liberation methods of Buddha. But the truth could be entirely different. Hinduism of the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita always held ahimsa as one of its highest spiritual values, but at the same time understood that violence can sometimes be necessary to defend one's border's, women and children, in a word that Might has to protect Dharma.

Which is why, until Buddhism made of non-violence an uncompromising, inflexible dogma, India's borders were not only secure, but extended from Afghanistan to Kanyakumari. But when Ashoka embraced Buddhism, India's great protecting armor, which had worked for millennia, had been breached. Buddhist thought also indirectly influenced great figures such as Mahatma Gandhi, whose sincere but rigid adherence to non-violence may have indirectly precipitated Partition.

Today, unobtrusively, Buddhism seems to be making a great comeback in India through the Vipassana movement of Shri Goenka, who learnt the technique in Burma from a great Master and brought it back to India in the late sixties.

The remarkable Vipassana meditation is originally a Vedic technique, which had been lost and which Buddha rediscovered again. In the hands of Siddartha Gautama, it became a simple, self-liberation method, accessible to all, regardless of their caste, religion, or social status. Hence its immense success in Buddha's time, when Hinduism had lost some of its appeal because of too much philosophical talk, casteism and rituals.

Shri Goenka keeps emphasising today that his Vipassana movement is still non-sectarian, open to all, whatever their religion and nationality. But it appears not to have lost some of the anti-Hindu slant that post-Buddha sects adopted (as evident in today's Sinhalese Buddhism). At every sentence of his discourses (meditators usually attend ten days' courses, where at the end of each day, they watch a video tape of Goenkaji, commenting on the technique), Goenka takes a subtle potshot at Hinduism, whether it is the "rites, rituals, Gods, images", or the "priests" (Brahmins), who tried to malign Buddha, or the sadhus "with their beads, matted hair, Shiva marks etc", or Varanasi, "a holy city full of hashish and bhang." Or else, he riles contemporary Hindu gurus and movements (without naming them openly, but they are easily recognised): Sai Baba "with all these hospitals, schools, etc, with his name inscribed on them"; or Rajneesh/Osho "with this fleet of Rolls Royces"; or the Hare Krishna movement "dancing Hare Krishna this and Hare Krishna that"…

It is rarely mentioned today that Buddhism, like Islam and Christianity has been a proselytising religion, even if it was done peacefully: Emperor Ashoka's missionaries went all over Asia and converted huge chunks of territory. But Buddhism came out of Hinduism and ultimately went back to it, as the millions of Indian Buddhists of the beginning of our era, eventually reverted to Hinduism. This is why Buddhists may have kept a certain resentment against Hinduism.

Shri Goenka's Vipassana meditation technique is today practiced by millions in India, because it is such a simple and effective procedure. But Shri Goenka's greatest fear is, that like after Buddha's demise, when Hinduism started eating back into the core of Buddhism, after his death (Goenkaji is nearing 80), the same thing will happen to the Vipassana movement.

Hence, at every step, he warns his practitioners, that if they liked the technique, they should, when they go back to the world, use it exclusively "and not revert to rites, rituals, etc" -- meaning that they should become Buddhists (even if he does not say so in so many words) and shun Hinduism. But what Shri Goenka fails to see is that on the one hand, he is promoting conversion, even if it is not in a blatant manner; and two, that once more, someone is taking advantage of Hinduism's great tolerance and openness.

For of course, 99 per cent of Vipassana meditators in India are Hindus -- I have attended more than a dozen ten days' courses and I have seen only one or two Christian nuns and never a single Muslim. Only Hindus recognise Buddha as an avatar, Muslims consider him as an infidel and indeed erased all traces of Him in India; and Christians tend to think that only Jesus is the true Son of God.

We notice also the embryo of the erstwhile errors of Buddhism, which cost India so much: a rigid and unbending non-violence -- it is for instance forbidden to kill even a mosquito in the Vipassana ashram premises; it is true too, that Vipassana, however efficient, is a joyless technique, with a very strict mental set-up: segregation between men and women is pushed sometimes to absurd limits and everything is timed to the second, leaving very little space for laughter and the imagination.

Again, there is an emphasis on withdrawal from this world, as Shri Goenka keeps saying at every step that everything is "misery, misery", "craving and aversion" and that "we are dying at every moment." And this may again lead India towards self-neglect, at a moment where She needs all her enthusiasm and energies.

Finally, there is no doubt that Shri Goenka is bent -- if not on establishing a new religion -- at least on starting an irreversible movement; the huge Vipassana temple being now built in Bombay is proof of that.

Is he going to succeed? While the Vipassana technique is a wonderful instrument, it should not be used to promote a new religion, at a time when the world is trying to move away from religions towards spirituality. And once more, we see that India is coming under threat. Will Goenka's meditators slowly come into positions of power and give again to India the passive, weak, non-violent turn of mind which already in the past did so much harm to Her ? "

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-13]

Abb.:Francois Gautier

"Francois Gautier (1950 - )  Paris-born, he has lived in India for 30 years, is a political analyst for Le Figaro, one of France's largest circulation newspaper. He defends Indian nationalism. He caused a storm of controversy in India by advocating reunification with Pakistan."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-13]


Abb.: Devotionalbild: Buddha und Dr. Ambedkar als Baum der erlösenden Einsicht (bodhi-Baum) (Originbal farbig) [Bildquelle: a.u.a.O., S. 163]

Beltz, Johannes <1967 - >: Mahar, Bouddhiste et Dalit : conversion religieuse et émancipation sociopolitique dans l'Inde des castes. -- Bern [u.a.] :  : Lang, ©2001. -- 380 S. : Ill. -- (Studia religiosa Helvetica : Series altera ; 5). -- Zugl.: Lausanne, Univ., Diss., 2000. -- ISBN 3-906766-23-3


"BODH GAYA, India (AP) - Authorities in eastern India have ordered an investigation after teen-age Tibetan leader Ugyen Thinley Dorje, the 17th Karmapa, was accused of committing sacrilege at one of Buddhism's most revered sites.

An influential leader of Buddhist monks alleged that the Karmapa, who escaped Chinese-controlled Tibet last year, was wearing his shoes when he visited the sanctum of the Mahabodhi Temple in the state of Bihar.

The Karmapa is one of the highest-ranking monks in Tibetan Buddhism.

Bhadant Anand, the general-secretary of the All India Monks' Association, demanded the Karmapa be punished for ``trampling'' upon the Vajrasana, the place where the Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment. He also asked the Karmapa to apologize for the alleged sacrilege.

Anand questioned the credentials of the Karmapa, the only senior lama to be recognized by both Beijing and the exiled Tibetan religious leader, the Dalai Lama. His critics and senior Indian intelligence officials claim he is an agent of the Chinese government, speculation that the Dalai Lama has criticized.

Amrit Lal Meena, the administrator of the Gaya district where the temple is located, on Thursday ordered a magistrate to inquire whether the allegations were true. Meena is also the chairman of the temple's management committee.

The Karmapa was defended by Tenzing Lama, the monk-in-charge of the Tibetan monastery in Bodh Gaya, who said the Buddhist leader's alleged act did not constitute religious impropriety.

``It is the heart and not the shoes that is important,'' the monk said."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-13]


Abb.: Massenübertritt von Dalits zum Buddhismus, in der Mitte: Udit Raj [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-07]

Massenkonversion von Dalits in New Delhi zum Ambedkar-Buddhismus:

"Thousands of Dalits Embrace Buddism / The Hindu, Visakhapatnam, November 5, 2001

New Delhi, Nov. 4.

Despite hurdles imposed on them by the Delhi police and opposition from several political groups, thousands of Dalits today gathered at the Ambkar Bhawan here for “en masse conversion” to Buddism.

No figure was available on the number of Dalits who embraced Buddism. The conversion ceremony was lead by Mr. Ram Raj, an Indian Revenue Service officer, who heads the all India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations.

Except for Mr. Ram Raj, who adopted the new name of Mr. Udit Raj after the conversion, and some of his followers, who were brought into the Buddhism fold with traditional rituals by Monk Buddha Priya Rahul, the rest of the participants were converted with the recitation of the 22 vows of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and raising their hands in acceptance.

Addressing the participants, who had come from several parts of the country, including Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Bihar, Mr. Raj alleged the Vajpayee Government, in association with organizations such as the RSS and the VHP, had violated the Constitution by not allowing them to organize the conversion rally at Ramlila Ground as originally scheduled. "Thousands of people coming to the Capital for conversion were stopped at several places on the borders and also several other States, in particular Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. We have urged them to embrace Buddism there itself. Lakhs of people today left Hinduism and joined Buddhism. From next month, we will be holding conversion ceremonies at the State level,” he said. “The Government does not want the Dalits to walk out of the age-old caste system and this is the main reason for their opposition to conversion of Dalits to Buddhism" he said."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-07]



At yet another historic mass conversion rally Indian Dalits renounce Hinduism and seek emancipation from the oppressive caste system through Buddhism in New Delhi. Budhism Today brings this historic event and its sidelights live to you.

History repeated itself in the land of Buddhism’s birthplace when over 50,000 Hindu Dalits (Untouchables or lower-caste) marched with flags, shouting slogans against the upper caste Hindu’s oppression and joined Buddhism in Indian Capital New Delhi on November 4.

Nearly half a century ago, in 1956, over 5 million Dalits led by the popular Dalit leader B.R. Ambedkar who framed the Indian constitution, had renounced Hinduism and joined Buddhism to escape from the caste system which discriminates them as untouchables and forces slavery. About 300 million Dalits have been facing social inequality and the stigma of low-caste for 3,000 years in India. 

The Sunday November 4 mass conversion rally which aimed at converting one million Dalits to Buddhism was banned by the authorities under pressure from Hindu radicals who called it a “Christian conspiracy”. The National Commission for Minorities said the rally would lead to law and order problem and sought its ban.

Conversion is an extremely sensitive issue in India and Christians are often blamed for indulging in converting low-castes by fraudulent means and enticement. However, the Hindu radicals have not been able to prove Christians’ forced conversions and many a times Christians have been persecuted.

Defying the ban and restrictions the police put in form of barricades, thousands of Dalits from far flung corners of the country gathered at the Ambedkar Bhawan, named after the Dalit leader B.R. Ambedkar who had led a mass conversion rally to Buddhism in Nagpur.

The rallyists’ enthusiasm was to be seen to be believed. Many groups flowed in from thousands of miles away, carrying flags and shouting slogans against upper caste Hindus’ oppression and praising Buddhism which they said “treats all human beings equally”. Crowds sat cross-legged in the sweltering heat listening to their leaders for hours and witnessing the historic religious ceremony where thousands took deeksha (conversion)The crowds stood on the roofs to be a witness to this historic ceremony.

The Dalits were apparently angry at the restrictions put by the authorities to prevent the rally. A fuming Dalit leader, Net Raj, criticised the authorities’ coercive attitude, “Is it done anywhere in the world to put barricades for the citizens of the country to stop them from performing a peaceful religious ceremony, the right which the constitution of the country guarantees. It’s the upper class Hindu’s who are doing it as they are angry that we are walking away from their slavery and they are losing control.”

 The organisers blamed police for detaining a large number the Dalits at Delhi’s borders and misleading them by putting “fraud” banners at the rally’s original venue, Ram Rila Grounds, reading that the rally had been cancelled. While the police said only 8,000 turned up, the BBC and international media reported the number at 60,000. The national and international media was present in good strength to witness this hyped day; the world was all eyes to this historic day.

The All-India Confederation of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Organisations (AICOSCSTO), which organised the rally, said that rally was meant only for conversion to Buddhism, though they had sought the support of Christians. “It’s a misleading propaganda by the Hindutva forces,” said Ram Raj, chairman of AICOSCSTO, who had been working hard for the last four years to make the rally a success. “No literature of any other religion would be distributed at the rally and all would be converted to Buddhism.”

The conversion ceremony was performed by Bhante Buddha Priya Rahul, who gave deeksha to Ram Raj. Ram Raj’s name was changed to Udit Raj after he received deeksha. Thousands of the Dalits who had gathered also took deeksha by chanting the prayers after the Buddhist priests clad in impressive saffron robes.

A bronze idol of Buddha was brought on the dais and the monks publicly performed the deeksha ceremony in an open ground with new converts chanting religious oaths. The newly-converts to Buddhism also took the oath of not to pray Hindu gods and goddesses.

“Today, I am no more an achoot (untouchable). The Hindu gods and goddesses have only given Dalits indignity, hunger and slavery. We refuse to accept this code of domination anymore. Dalits must liberate themselves from the shackles of their oppressed past and usher in a new renaissance through education and the awareness of human rights. Buddhism is the path to this liberation,” said Udit Raj, after the deeksha ceremony.

Most of the Dalits who came for conversion said they were fed up with being treated like “no more than animals.” Hukam Das, 22, who came with a group of 1,200 Dalits to attend the deeksha ceremony said angrily, “I want to leave casteism and Hinduism. We are disgraced every day, at every place. We have to bear the stigma of casteism.” As to why he wants to embrace Buddhism in particular, Das says, “Joining Buddhism is the only way to escape the chains of slavery. Buddhism respects and treats all human beings equally, it is the best religion.”

Anand Kumar, who came with a group of over 3,000 Dalits from Uttar Pradesh State, says, “Dalit Hindus have been exploited for centuries. We are not treated equally and not shown respect. Dalits are powerful and can change the country. This is the message we have come to give here by changing our religion to Buddhism where we would be treated as equals, not low-caste.”

The Dalit leader Ram Raj also gave the message of a “changed nation” from the rally’s dais. “Quit casteism, quit Hinduism,” he said. “We want to destroy casteism. We are not treated as citizens of this country by the Hindutva forces. We have been suffering for three thousand years. We are fighting for the progress of the country which is not progressing due to casteism and Hindutva forces are not allowing us to walk away from caste system. We are not against any community, but I am sad—unless we have dignity and freedom we can’t progress.”

This was the second historic mass rally where India Dalits converted to Buddhism. The Dalits have a long history of oppression and slavery. The fact that they tried to break away from the shackles of discrimination, disgrace, slavery and oppression through Buddhism, for the second time in half a century speaks volumes about the image Buddhism has in India. These downtrodden people, tried to find refuge once again, in Buddhism which is their escape route to dignity and a life of freedom.

The Dalits once again sought emancipation through Buddhism, in a mass conversion rally, proving the liberation and welfare of all beings as enshrined in Buddhism which as one of the renowned Indian columnist wrote “makes it (Buddhism) the best choice.”


Rally Man: Ram Raj to Udit Raj, a man, really!

Udit Raj (called Ram Raj, before who got deeksha) chairman, All-India Confederation of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Organisations is the man who worked for four years and organised the rally. He speaks on various issues.

A return to roots:   I am not using the word “conversion” because embracing Buddhism is a renaissance and a return to our old cultures and values of brotherhood, universal love and equality.

Why Buddhism: Because it preaches equality, non-violence, morality and dynamism. It diagnoses causes of misery and sorrow and teaches cure for suffering and how to enjoy eternal bliss. Buddhism motivates a person to believe in himself by preaching that he and he alone is master of his destiny. No gods and goddesses can solve one’s problems unless one works hard with purified mind and good intentions. The center of Buddhism is human being and his problems. Most of the religions have main consideration for super-natural or transcendental reality, which has nothing to do with day-to-day problems of men like employment, justice, equality, fraternity. They suggest believing in or worshipping gods and goddesses instead of serving, giving respect and love to humanity…Buddhism can liberate them.”

On Buddhism decline: Buddhism declined in India, its birthplace, primarily because the Bhikkus and Upaskas did not so much as resist the attacks on them. I too subscibe to the principle of Ahimsa, but subject to the condition that we must exercise our right to self-defense. If our opponents contemplate harming us in any way, we can not, and must not, allow them to do so…Since Buddhism does not cripple human beings by preaching fatalism, our movement is in keeping with Buddhist ethics… May all beings be happy!


Dalit's predicament: Indian Dalits, also known as Untouchables or low-caste are the “broken people” are trapped in the caste system (where they occupy the lowest rank).

This caste system which is dominated by the once-priestly class of Brahmins, is forced upon them. Although, the caste system was legally abolished about 50 years ago, their plight has not improved.

In rural areas they are still not allowed to enter Hindu temples, or draw water from the village wells reserved for the upper castes (they run the risk of being beaten or killed if they do this). 

They are also often exploited as slave labour. Many of them have tried to find escape from the caste’s stigma through the change of religion.


The rally was termed as “Christian conspiracy” by the Hindu radical leaders who pressurised the authorities to ban it. Although, many Christians were present, and some Christian leaders addressed the rally, the organisers said they just sought support from Christians and all were converted to Buddhism.

No literature of any other religion  was allowed to be distributed at the event. Conversion is a sensitive issue in India where hardline Hindu groups accuse Christian missionaries of using inducements such as schools to lure poor people into their faith's net.


Bhante Buddha Priya Rahul, the Buddhist priest who conducted the ceremony, said they planned to launch a full-fledged campaign to convert many more Dalits to Buddhism. ``We plan to hold a similar conversion every month till April next year. On April 14, we will have a conversion that is about 10 times this size near Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh,'' he said. "

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-23]


"Who killed Buddhism?

Udit Raj

(The Author is the Commissioner of Income-Tax. who recently left Hindu religion and embraced Buddhism with a large number of followers)

Talibanisation is more misunderstood than understood. Vir Sanghvi has correctly understood the phenomenon of Talibanisation (Talibanising our education, November 25). The heart and mind of the Sangh parivar resembles that of the Taliban, but their biggest difficulty is that in a pluralist nation like India, they are unable to further succeed in their dubious agenda.

However, whenever they find the opportunity, they never miss the chance to attack Dalits and discriminate against them in all walks of life. This is aptly illustrated by the fact that the upper caste private army in Bihar, Ranvir Sena, was left out of the banned list under POTO. The fact is that this gang, which has taken credit for several massacres of Dalits, are committed loyalists of the BJP.

There is no finality about history. The problem begins when history is written for the advantage of some sections, which is simultaneously an assault on others. This is divisive history. The way the government has deleted some sections from history textbooks is reflecting this bias.

The problem for this RSS-controlled regime is that historians like Romila Thapar, Bipan Chandra, R.S. Sharma and Satish Chandra have followed objective and cardinal principles while interpreting history. This is unpalatable for blatantly prejudiced politicians like BJP leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra (Cardinal principles, December 14). These internationally acclaimed historians have tried to discuss the caste system, the food culture of the majority people, the origin of Aryans etc.

The BJP claims that the deletions are necessary to correct the distortions. Then why have they not glorified the history of Buddhism which was destroyed by the treachery and false propaganda of Brahmanism? Why are they not talking about the fact that Indian society has been enslaved by the caste system for centuries? Who benefited from the caste system? The Dalits or the Brahmins?

Who is to be blamed for the Dalits not imbibing the tradition and skill of reading or writing history? In the so-called golden era of Murli Manohar Joshi, only the Brahmins enjoyed the right to read and write. Others were condemned in the oppressed margins, branded as chamars and achhoots (untouchables), forced to use their bare hands and then carry excreta on their heads (they still do in the prime minister?s constituency). They were humiliated and brutalised as slave labour and occupational castes. They were neither given social or political dignity under Hinduism.

The truth is that the Brahmins and upper castes were the parasites of Dalit labour. They used the varna system to legitimise this parasitic relationship of domination. If Dalits and the OBCs could write their own history, then perhaps many puzzles of this exalted ?Hindu civilisation? would have been sorted out.

Besides, only constructive minds can perform productive and creative tasks. The case of Murli Manohar Joshi, J.S. Rajput and the RSS is clear: they can only indulge in negative, vicious, divisive and destructive tasks. This has been characteristic of Brahmins and the upper castes for centuries. Upper caste psychology has eternally been engaged in the divide and rule principle. They neither had the time nor the sensitivity or will for progressive or scientific imagination.

The HRD minister is saying that there was a lot of pressure on NCERT from various communities to amend the textbooks. It is not always possible to appease every community by writing the truth. I question the veracity of this claim - Dalits have not asked the government to delete the history of the varna system.

The deletions reflect that the parivar can be compared to the Taliban. Since they do not even want to discuss the caste system, the question of eliminating the caste system simply does not arise.

How can the policy of reservation be explained if the caste system is not discussed threadbare? Hence are we supposed to glorify the Manusmriti which says that Dalits cannot possess private property, nor can they go to heaven unless they worship the Brahmins?

One can infer the past from the present. Sections relating to the caste system are deleted from our books; this will continue to haunt the minds of the people in the days to come. Caste exists today as an entrenched entity. If the Hindutva forces are serious about Dalit sentiments then why don?t they eliminate the caste system by inter-dining and inter-marriage and through concerted social and official actions? The fact is that they do not want to see the development of Dalits - they only want to exploit them.

Dalits want a public discussion on varna and caste. Their deletions from the NCERT textbooks have hurt their sentiments, and they will oppose it tooth and nail.

Murli Manohar Joshi, to appease his minuscule Brahmin constituency, has compelled deletions of references to beef-eating. Almost all tribal communities have been eating beef since ages. Muslims and Christians also eat beef. Several scheduled caste communities in south India eat beef. Thus, about 15 per cent scheduled castes, 12 per cent Muslims, 3 per cent Christians, 7 per cent tribals and 10 per cent OBCs eat beef even in the contemporary era. The tribals of the North-eastern region also eat beef and so is the case with the Mala and Madiga communities of Andhra Pradesh. Are their sentiments not hurt?

Last year in Karnataka, Dalits celebrated beef-eating in front of the state assembly. It is an important aspect of their food culture. Brahmins in ancient India were also beef-eaters as has been empirically proved by historian D.N. Jha (Paradox of the Indian cow, December 17, 18). Joshi represents only 2-3 per cent Brahmins of the country - how can he impose his Brahmanical culture on others?

Beef-eating is part of the food culture of Bahujans. Any attempt to relate this cultural trait to Muslims is a dubious distortion of history, because beef-eating has been integral to the food culture of the country since centuries. Hence, beef-eating is not related to any religion.

The Dalit god, Jambvant, advocated the consumption of beef. In the past, beef was offered to guests; many Hindu religious scriptures also support this contention. Hence the deletions will deprive us of the sense of history and culture as experienced by the Dalits, minorities and OBCs.

Cow is a sacred animal and Hindu priests regard it as a mother; but they do not give it shelter in their houses and temples. The cows are let loose on the roads. They survive on rotten garbage. They also eat in the process a lot of plastic and polythene which blocks their intestines; consequently they die a slow, painful death. At least staunch believers should shelter the cows in their houses. They should feed and worship them. It is better to worship living beings than dead idols.

Jawaharlal Nehru wrote in his book, The Discovery of India, that Aryans had come from Central Asia. Even Lokmanya Tilak said so. Many historical findings prove that Aryans were foreigners. Indeed, if we look at the Hindutva forces, their supra-racism is much too expressed. I have never seen people of the same religion hating and discriminating against their own co-religionists as it is prevalent in the Hindu society. And is it not a truth that the Aryans hated the indigenous Dravidians?

Buddhism used to be a major religion in India, but it declined because of the treachery and violence of the Brahmins. For instance, Pushyamitra Shungh, a Brahmin courtier, killed Buddhist King Brihdutt by an act of treachery. Why is the Sangh parivar silent when it comes to reasserting the greatness of Buddhist culture and religion under which India progressed the most?

India has stagnated with the decline of Buddhism and the rise of the rigid caste system. Many important Hindu temples like Tirupati, Puri, Kedarnath and Badrinath were Buddhist shrines at one time but later they were destroyed and grabbed by Brahmin priests. Even progressive historians have missed out on this dimension of Indian history.

Archaeological evidence has revealed the factors which caused the elimination of Buddhism. Who killed Buddhism? The violent liquidation of Buddhism was done by the ancestors of these very Hindutva forces, who too glorified the Vedic, hierarchical and oppressive caste society.

In recent times, Dalits wanted to embrace Buddhism in Delhi on November 4, but the VHP blocked it with brute support of the government. This again shows that they are the enemies of Buddhism.

I see a dark future for India because crucial issues like the eradication of poverty, development, education, health and social evils are being relegated to the background while divisive issues like whipping up war hysteria ... deletion of historical facts and exploitation of religious sentiments are holding the sway. We have no option but to resist this retreat to the dark ages.

The writer is Chairman, All India SC/ST Confederation."

[Quelle: The Hindustan Times. -- 2001-12-27. -- URL: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-07]


Eröffnung des Sera IMI House für westliche Mönche am Kloster  Sera in Byalkuppe, Karnataka [Webpräsenz: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]

Abb.: Sera IMI House

"Sera IMI House is a part of the International Mahayana Institute (IMI), which is the ordained Sangha division of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT). Venerable Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche is the spiritual director of this monastic community. This project has been undertaken with the kind support of Sera Je Monastery.

Sera monastery was established in 1970 by several hundred Tibetan refugee monks on an area of jungle, which had kindly been made available by the Indian government. Starting in the late 1970's, there has been a continuous presence of a few pioneering Western monks studying Buddhist philosophy and practice in the traditional way, centred around the debating class, and culminating in the geshe degree.

During these years each person had to organise his own accommodation, often with considerable difficulty, and then had to undertake the process of integration into the life of the monastery with very little support. Although several determined people have progressed to the point of being eligible to receive the geshe degree, unfortunately the above problems contributed to the premature departure of numbers of monks over the years.

In order to address this, there had been discussions for some years about the idea of building a house at Sera to accommodate Western monks. In fact, this is in line with the tradition for monks from the different regions of Tibet to establish their own regional college groups (called khangtsan) within Sera Je Monastery. The khangtsan provides accommodation, a meditation hall, and the social context of a 'home away from home', which is such an integral part of the life in large Tibetan monastic universities.

Detailed planning to build something like this for Western and other non-Himalayan monks of the FPMT began in 1997, when Lama Zopa Rinpoche officially recognised this work as a project of the FPMT. He gave it the Tibetan name Shedrup Sungdrel Ling which means A Sanctuary for the Union of Teaching and Accomplishment. A piece of land was kindly made available by the monastery, and the construction of the house, which commenced in April 2001, was completed in early 2002. Whilst this is not officially a new khangtsan at Sera Je, it will act, to some degree, in that capacity for the residents. "

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-09]


"Dalit And Buddhist Identities

Some people deny that the Dalit identity and try to merge with Hindu, Indian, Dravidian, Tamil, Maharashtrian, Telugu, Shudra or Bahujan identities. They have a fear of Brahminical and Shudra Hindu forces. They join with the Hindu tones, which criticize Dalit leaders, activists and movements as sectarian and narrow-minded. They do not realize that the Hindus, but not Dalits divided the India as a caste Hindu village and the Dalit ghetto.

Dalit is not a caste and Dalits are not untouchables. They are an independent racial, religious, ethnic and social group that is different from the Hindus. Mangs, Chamars, Mahars, Madhigas, Malas, Pariyars and Pallars may be castes or scheduled castes. Untouchables may be those who believe themselves, as they are untouchables, by birth. The Adi-Shudras and Harijan identities were accepted bypeople who depend the Hindus (Brahmins to Shudras) for political survival.

Dalit identity emerged out of awareness and knowledge. Dalits become aware that they are not untouchables but they are oppressed and the untouchability is imposed on them. The Dalits are never Hindus. They are descendant of Sakyas. The Sakyas were neither Kshatriyas nor Vaisyas. They were out sider of Hindu Varna system and were original Buddhist. Buddhist culture were prevailed, the original Buddhist (Dalits) were rulers, teachers and preachers etc. and the Indian society was highly prosperous and glorious.

Buddhism was defeated by the cunningness of Brahmins and the stupidity of Shudras who are brain and muscle powers of Hinduism. Consequently Hindus suppressed the original Buddhists due to the ideological political and social conflicts between Hindus and Buddhists. The Buddha and other Samanas (Dalit Saints) were mentioned as devils and Untouchables by Hindu scriptures. Hindus treated the Magadha as Untouchable region, Magadhi or Pariyati or Pali as untouchables’ language and Buddhist literature as untouchables literature. Finally the language (Pali), the culture (Buddhist), the religion (Buddhism), the tradition (Samanic), the literature (Pali) were suppressed and destroyed.

The original Buddhist lost their own language, culture religion, status and power and became broken people. They were made to live in out side of Hindu villages and live in very degraded life. Due to the fall of righteousness (Dhamma), not only the original Buddhist fell down, but also the whole Indian sub-continent became deteriorated.

In the modern era due to the arrival of British, missionaries, modern education and scientific development, and constant struggles the condition of Dalit is changing.

They realize what they are and what are their original race, language, culture, religion and tradition. They realized that they were homogenous and indigenous people of the ancient India and were made broken people by the Hindu invaders. Since 1891, when Thatha Rettai Malai Srinivasan Started a Dalit organization (Pariyar Mahajana Sabha), the Dalits were hunting for a single identity to unit all Dalits who are labeled in different names. Bodhisatta Iyothi Thass stressed Sakya identity in 1890s $ 1900. He founded Sakya Buddhist Society in 1890s.

All Adi Movements such as Adi-vasi, Adi-Dravida, Adi-Tamil, Adi-Andhra, Adi-Dharmi, Adi-Hindu, Adi-Karnataka and other Dalit movements were very much interested to trace a single historical, racial, linguistic, ethnic and social identity to Dalits who are scattered in different part of Indian sub-continent. In 1920s and 1930s all India depressed class conventions stressed a single identity for Dalits. Bodhisatta Ambedkar used the word Dalit for so-called untouchables or depressed class to mean all the broken people.

Dalit panthers’ movement further popularized it but the word was only confined in Maharastra in 1970s. The Dalits are united under one identity at least after constant struggle of nearly one century (1891-1991). This was materialized in 1991, when the celebrations of Bodhisatta Ambedkar's birth centenary were taken place all over India.

The Dalit identity, assertion, struggles for liberation was wide spread all over India in last decade (1991-2000). They could even able to carry their issue to the United Nations, the superior body of the world.

Buddhists and Dalits are not contradictory identities rather they are complementary to each other. Dalits are the descendant of ancient original Buddhist and never been part of Brhamanical Hinduism. Taking initiation (Dhiksha) or refuge (Caranam) is not conversion from any other religion to Buddhism rather it is very necessary for every Buddhist to take formal initiation and refuge and follow the path scrupulously.

The Dhamma Diksha taken by Bodhisatta Ayothidass in 1891, Bodhisatta Ambedkar in 1956 and Upasaka Udit Raj in 2001, and their followers were not incidences of conversion but, self-proclamations of the religious identity of Dalits.

The liberation of Dalit is depending on the revival of their ancient religion (the Dhamma), ancient culture (the Buddhist ancient tradition (the Samana tradition) and ancient language (Pali or Daliti). "

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-13]


Abb.: Briefmarkenmotiv: buddhistische Heiligtümer [Bildquelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-13]


Der Archaeological Survey of India beginnt mit der Restaurierung des Mahabodhi Stupa in Bodh Gaya. Es sind dafür 6 Millionen Rupees veranschlagt.


"Buddhist Council presents 22 point petition to District Magistrate

6 March 2002. The Gaya district unit of the The Indian Buddhist Great Council has presented a 22 point petition including a change in the act [which governs] the world famous Mahabodhi temple to the district officials and a copy each to the Central Government and and the State Government.
In the list of demands formulated by the Indian Buddhist Great Council are included:

  1. a separate legal code for Buddhists,
  2. the separation of Buddhists from Hindus,
  3. scrapping the constitutional re-evaluation comittee,
  4. issuing of Buddhist jati identity papers to Buddhists, t
  5. he inclusion of only Buddhists on the Management Comittee of the Mahabodhi Temple,
  6. the formation of a body, like the WAQF body which looks after Muslim sacred sites, to administer Buddhist sacred sites,
  7. the abolition of entry fees to all Buddhist sites in India,
  8. the provision to Buddhists of facilities granted to minority communities,
  9. the announcement of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar's birthday as a school Holiday and
  10. the anniversary of his death as a National holiday,
  11. the renaming of Dadar station [in Mumbai] as Chaitya station and
  12. the renaming of the Dadar to Amritsar Express as the Chaitya Express.
  13. The reintroduction of an image of Ashoka's pillar on Indian currency notes from which it has been withdrawn.
  14. The inclusion of Buddhist members on the minorities commission.
  15. The allotment to Buddhists of separate funerary facilities,
  16. the broadcasting of Buddhist teachings [vani] on Durdarshan [Indian State Television].

Amongst others who made these demands were included, Vishvanath, Thakur, Convener, Dilip Kumar, Deputy Convener, Niranjan Das, Rampravesh Thakur, etc."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-13]


"Vimalasara Thero of the Mahabodhi Society arrested over Lakhs of rupees racket

Gaya, 26 April. The former in-charge of the Mahabodhi Society of India and assistant general secretary M. Vimalasara Thero was today arrested by police over an allegation of a lakhs of rupees racket. The news of the arrest of Vimalasara who is originally from Sri Lanka was sent to the Sri Lanka High Commission in Delhi. On Vimalasara complaining of chest pains he was admitted in the Anugraha Narayana Medical College Hospital. Vimalasara has also been the monk in charge of the organisation of foreign monasteries situated in Bodhgaya.

Police Superintendent Ravindran Shankaran said that the First Information Report had been registered at the Bodhgaya Police Station by P. Sivali Thero the In-charge of the Mahabodhi Society of India. The First Information Report was registered as case no. 27/2002 under sections 406, 420, 379, 34 and 120 of the Indian Penal Code. Mr Shankaran said that for the previous seven and half years Vimalasara had been the monk in charge of the Mahabodhi Society in Bodhgaya. During this period he had broken the rules of the Society Registration Act of 1960 and the Mahabodhi Society of India.

*He had formed trusts and bought land at three or four places near Bodhgaya. Appointed as the Chairman of the Indo-Sri Lankan cultural Society he had bought 22.5 Dismils [Decimils?] of land in Nevatapur. Mr Shankaran said that at the time of the registration of the land he had given his nationality as Indian. He said that in respect of this deception a separate case no. 34/2002 had been registered at Bodhgaya Police Station. Mr Shankaran said that the Mahabodhi Society had two accounts at the State Bank of India in Bodhgaya. But lakhs of rupees which Vimalasara had received for the society had not been paid into the said two accounts. Instead he had paid it into the account of his own man Kuncum Namgyal and committed a financial irregularity. From November to February 2002 within two and a half months he had paid into account no. 1508 in the Indian Overseas Bank branch in Gaya six lakhs, 53 thousand and 409 rupees. Of which about four and half lakhs were after conversion from foreign currency. This sum had been used by Vimalasara for his own personal benefit. Mr Shankaran said that there was evidence had been obtained of a divergence of about 18 lakhs of rupees in Vimalasara's accounts.

Mr Shankaran said that Rajpal Rana, a helper of Vimalasara, had made over considerable assets of the society into his own name and named a centre the 'Buddhist International Society Mumbai'. Mr Shankaran also said that one leading helper of Vimalasara was [called] D.L.S. Jayavarddhana who was living in Calcutta. He also said that the police hoped that in the investigation more mysteries would be solved.

Mr Shankaran said that a non-bailable arrest warrant had been in Bodhgaya by Madhusudhan Bari the Police Superintendent of Office One. As soon as he was arrested Vimalasara complained of pains in his chest and police admitted him for treatment in the hospital of the Anugraha Narayana Medical College. As soon as the agreement of the doctors was obtained he would be remanded in legal custody in Gaya Jail."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-07]


"New-Buddhists Call Again for the Liberation of the Mahabodhi Temple

Bodhgaya, 27 May. After the announcement of all sorts of measures to liberate the Mahabodhi Temple from the clutch of Hindus the caravan of Ambedkarite New-Buddhists is eager to leave Bodhgaya again. People could be seen until mid afternoon standing and waiting all over the place for buses and tempos to the railway station.

Surai Sasai, national leader [of the All India Monks Association] in a sharp address to the assembled Buddhists on the occasion of Buddha Purnima on the Kalacakra Maidan gave an extensive account of the form of the campaign being launched to liberate the Mahabodhi Temple. Along with this the Ven. Ananda made an appeal to assemble in sufficient numbers in not only Bodhgaya but also Dehli and Patan for dharnas and demonstrations and programs for the handing over of the Temple to Buddhists from the Temple Management Committee and a change in the 1949 act.

After this in the morning people could be seen standing around in the bus stand and some were even walking to Gaya. Near to the Mahabodhi Society approved roadside Travel Agents were making buses, tempos and other vehicles available. Some of the same tourists after visiting Bodhgaya were also going back and forth between Rajgir, Nalanda, Sujata and other Buddhist sites to take darshana.

On another side last night hundreds of social revolutionary agh.a.ri [?] Buddhists gathered at the site of the enlightenment on the morning of the 27th of May and took out a 'reverence' march for the liberation of the Mahabodhi temple movement. The reverence march began near to the Committee office and went via the Daijokyo temple back to the Mahabodhi temple. Leading the march Mukunda Khaire said to the Buddhists who were accompanying him that in order for Buddhism to be recognised as an independent religion under section 25 of the Indian constitution, and in order to liberate the Mahabodhi temple from the clutch of servitude to the Brahmin Abbots the members of the organisation were ready to make every sacrifice.
It is said that the seeds of controversy have been sown over the last few years at the sacred site of the Buddha's enlightenment. Disproving the administrations claim that the celebration of Buddha Purnima had passed peacefully the various controversial acts of the New-Buddhists gave a covert message of something else again. Moreover it was apparent, on the occasion of Buddha Purnima, from some slips of paper being circulated by those Ambedkarites who had come that the peaceful site of Bodhgaya with its message of spreading peace and love throughout the world would in coming days become completely without peace"

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-13]


"Monk is wrong say Buddhist Scholar and VHP

Gaya, May 31st. The statement made by the Ven. Anand the National Secretary of the All India Monks Association after Buddha Purnima is wrong according the Buddhist scholar P.C. Ray and the VHP. In his statement the Ven. Anand said that Buddha was not an Avatar of Vishnu and to say that Buddhists and Hindus were brothers was not only laughable but also puerile.

In this regard the notable Buddhist scholar P. C. Ray said that Ven. Anand's logic was faulty. If Buddhist culture had begun in opposition to Hindu culture then why was there a section praising Brahmins in the Dhammapada of the Tripitaka canon of the Buddhists? Why was Buddha himself called a Brahmin? Prof. P.C. Ray said that in Ashoka's rock edict about Bodhgaya it says that 'Brahmins and Buddhists may be seen there and gifts given to both'. He said that the word 'Brahmin' first appears in Buddhist literature and later in Vedic literature. In other words there were Buddhist Brahmins first and Hindu Brahmins later.He said that Brahmins, Shramans and monks were one and the same thing. He said that in his view he whose mind was vast, noble and liberal was a Brahmin. He whose mind was pleasing, happy and good was a Shramana.

Amit Mohan Mishra the former vice-minister of the district Vishva Hindu Parishad [World Hindu Council:-PGF] said that whilst Ven. Anand denied that Buddha was the ninth Avatar of Vishnu whilst it was universally accepted by that the was the ninth Avatar and there was no support for his view, whilst 800 million of India's inhabitants believed in his being the ninth Avatar. This is the truth. There was no need for any proof of it. Mr Mishra said that Ven. Anand argued that Buddha was not an Avatar, but had Buddha ever called himself 'Bhagvan'? [the common Hindi title for Buddha, often taken to mean 'God':-PGF] Had Buddha ever called for people in his name to carry out commerce or practice politics? Mr. Mishra said that Ven. Anand should take of his robes and practice politics openly. He said that Ven. Anand was trying once again to create dispute between Hindus and Buddhists. "

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-13]


Buddhists Plea to the UN

31st July 2002

Madam Mary Robinson
Her Excellency The High Commissioner For Human Rights United Nations

Subject : Request to direct the Government of India to handover the Management of Mahabodhi Mahavihar at BuddhaGaya to Buddhists

Respected Madam,

With great respect to the office of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights , may I invite your kind attention towards the continued illegal occupation of the most sacred and holiest place of the Buddhists and the Entire World, the Mahabodhi Mahavihar at Buddha Gaya in the Bihar State of India by high caste Hindu Brahmins.

This is the place where the Siddharth Gautama, the Prince, attained the Supreme Enlightenment and became the Buddha. This vihara was erected by Emperor Ashoka 250 BC as a monument in the memory of Lord Buddha. This is confirmed by Chinese Monk Fa-Hain who visited Buddha Gaya in 409 AD and Huen Thsang in 637 AD. One of the great Archaeologist Sir Alexander Cunnigham also visited Buddha Gaya. It is beyond doubts that it is the sacred and holiest place of Buddhists where Buddha attained Enlightenment. Dr.Buchanan Hamilton a very well known archaeologist visited Buddha Gaya vihar and he found that the vihara was in a hopeless condition. Buddhism vanished from India due to onslaught by Hindu Brahmins. The Vihara had been visited by thousands and thousands of Buddhists from China, Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka and other parts of the world and several inscriptions had been found during excavation in Buddha Gaya to prove that throughout the ages, it was truly the Buddha Vihara . Sir Edwin Arnold, the world famous author of the book " The Light of Asia", visited 1885 and appealed to British Government to handover the Mahavihar to the Buddhists. He also appealed to the Buddhist Countries to show intrest in the matter of management of the Mahavihar.

Ven. Anagarik Dharmapala , was one of the greatest Buddhist Monk from Sri Lanka who took up the cause of handing over of Mahabodhi Mahavihar to Buddhists, visited Buddha Gaya in January 1891 along with Col. Oleot. He again came back in July 1891 along with four monks. Hindu Brahmin Priests (Mahants) assaulted all of them and the statue of Buddha was thrown away. The case went to Dist. Judge who said " The temple was continuously and regularly been used as Buddhist place of worship by Buddhist pilgrims. No form of Hindu worship had been carried on inside the Mahabodhi temple and there is nothing to show that any such worship (Hindu worship) has been carried on for many centuries". Justice Mc- Pherson of Calcutta High Court said " It is mentioned that the Mahabodhi Temple which is very ancient and very sacred to the Buddhists, was a Buddhists Temple. Although it has been in the possession of Hindu Mahants, it has never been converted into a Hindu Temple in the sense that Hindu idols have been enshrined or orthodox Hindu worship carried on there and that Buddhists pilgrims have had free access and liberty to worship in it".

The proceedings of the case were published in all newspapers and the Buddha Gaya`s question became a live topic throughout India, Burma and other countries. Thus a strong public opinion was created in favour of the Buddhists Claim.

In 1949, the Government of Bihar passed the Buddha Gaya Temple Act transferring the temple to a committee of Management consisting of four Buddhists and four Hindus with a Hindu District Magistrate of Gaya as the Chairman which ultimate means mangement of Mahavihar.

Since the enactment of Temple Act in 1949, the Management has been in the hands of majority Hindu Brahmins who have nothing to do with the teaching of Buddha. Hindu Brahmins falsely claim that Buddha is an incarnation of a Hindu God Vishnu in order to destroy the holiest site of Buddhists. Hindu Brahmin Priests have been playing tricks to show to the world that Lord Buddha was a Hindu God and nothing else. It is established and accepted fact that Buddhism is the different independent religion which has nothing to do with the philosophy of God or incarnation of God.

Some of the most important problems created by Hindu Brahmin priests are:

  1. Some of the original statues of Lord Buddha have been defiled and stolen from the Mahabodhi Mahavihara.
  2. Accounts of donations and gifts received have not been maintained properly.
  3. Elections for the management committee were held only after raising objections and launching agitations throughout India .
  4. Idols of some of the Hindu Gods have been smuggled inside the Mahavihar including Shivlinga to dilute and defame Buddhism.
  5. All sorts of Hindu Rituals and Rites are being followed inside Mahabodhi Mahavihar to defame and bring impurity in Buddhism.
  6.  Criminal elements in the society are encouraged by the Brahmin priests who misappropriate donations and gifts offered by visitors.

Thus it is seen that sacredness of Buddha Gaya has been threatened. The entire world has been expressing their concern on happenings in Buddha Gaya from time to time.

We have started Mahabodhi Mahavihar all India Action Committee in 1992 and since then we have been protesting peacefully at Buddha Gaya and requesting both Government of India and Government of Bihar to bring amendment in the Buddha Gaya Temple Act 1949 and handover the management of the Mahavihar to the Buddhists

Your honour, it is surprising that the holiest of the holy place of Buddhists in the entire world is in the hands of non-Buddhists. This is the uniqueness Churches are under Christians, Masjids are under Muslims and Hindu Temples under the controls of Hindu Brahmins, why is it that the holiest of the holy place of Buddhism is not under the control of Buddhists?

Government of India and Government of Bihar have been giving assurances that something will be done to handover the control of the Mahavihar to the Buddhists . In this connection we have met several Central and State Ministers and authorities but nothing concrete has been done. So far our movement has been totally peaceful and democratic and Government authorities have ignored our claim totally.

In this connection we have sent a letter dated 23rd January 2002 addressed to His Excellency The Secretary General of United Nations Mr.Kofi Annan and requested him to use his good offices and cause justice to the Buddhists around the World by handing over entire control of the Management of Mahabodhi Mahavihar to the Buddhists .

We all the Buddhist of India and All over the World are pleased at the announcement that UNESCO has declared the Buddha Gaya as World Heritage site. We therefore congratulate to the UN and express thanks to UNESCO for this historical decision, which will be having monumental effect in propagating ideals of Justice , Peace and Compassion in the entire world.

We therefore request the UN to activate the convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (UNESCO) adopted on 16th November 1972 and entered into force on 17th Dec. 1974. It was ratified by 159 countries including India. The convention provides that the heritage committee shall supervise the protection of items recognised by the convention as those of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art, science and aesthetics. We also request the United Nations to direct India to obey the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) on the rights of persons belonging to national, ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities and handover entire managemant of Mahabodhi Mahaviha ng suitable amendment to the Bodh Gaya Temple Act 1949 (Bihar Act of 17th of 1949) - (as modified up to 8th Feb.1955) and help prevent confrontation between the Buddhist and Hindu Brahmins over the issue of Mahabodhi Mahavihar.

With profound regards.

Yours truly,

(Bhadant Arya Nagarjuna Shurei Sasai)
National President
All India BuddhaGaya Mahabodhi Mahavihar Action Committee,
Indora Buddha Vihar Nagpur,India. 440004
Ph. 0091-712-642575

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-13]


Mass conversion of Dalits planned
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 28 [2002]
While the Haryana Government has been discomforted by the conversion of Dalit families to Buddhism, Christianity and Islam at a function at Gurgaon yesterday organised by the All-India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations, the state government is likely to face another bout of embarrassment when the next programme of the confederation gets under way.

According to Mr Karamvir Singh, President of the confederation’s Haryana unit, functions to convert Dalits into Buddhists would be organised at the block and district levels in the entire state on the day of Divali (November 4). Mr Karamvir Singh, who had himself converted to Buddhism almost a year ago, said the massacre of five Dalit men at Jhajjar district recently had once again shown that the caste Hindus did not consider the Dalits as a part of the Hindu fold. “Therefore, we are trying to appeal to the Dalits to abandon the practice of Hindu faith and embrace Buddhism”, he said.

Yesterday, the families of four of the five Dalit men, who lost their lives in the Jhajjar incident, embraced Buddhism. The Gurgaon function also witnessed people embracing Christianity and Islam. It was, however, learnt that while Muslim as well as Christian preachers were invited to the function at Gurgaon, the programme on November 4 would focus exclusively on converting Dalits to Buddhism. Karamvir Singh said that Buddhist monks from Dadumajra and Khurali would carry out the conversions in some areas. In other areas, members of the confederation who had already converted themselves to Buddhism would proselytize the aspirants by having them swear by the Panchsheel and 22 pratigyas, which was the formula advocated by late B R Ambedkar.

Earlier, a large number of Dalits from Haryana reportedly got converted to Buddhism at a rally organised by the Confederation in Delhi in November last year. Subsequently, another function was organised at Kurukshetra on June 9 for conversion and a good number of Dalits reportedly took to Buddhism.

Mr Karamvir Singh said they were expecting the November 4 programme to be particularly successful at Bhiwani, Fatehabad, Sonepat, Narnaul, Gurgaon, Ambala and Meham.

Families deny conversions

Gurgaon, October 28 [2002]
Families of four of the five Dalits, who were lynched near Dulina village of Jhajjar district in Haryana on October 15, today denied having embraced Buddhism or any other religion in protest at a rally of the All-India Confederation of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Organisations here yesterday.

“We were Hindus. We are Hindus. We will die as Hindus,” they told reporters here. Later, they called on Deputy Commissioner Anurag Rastogi and made a similar statement. They alleged that certain organisations were taking advantage of the unfortunate incident and misleading the people. “Conversion is no solution to the atrocities”, they added. The fifth Dalit victim belonged to Karnal district.

Mr Rattan Singh, father of deceased Virender, said he and other victims’ families had no knowledge of any programme of conversion. “We had attended the rally, which was organised in protest against the killings. There was no talk of any conversion or embracing any other religion,” he added.

Similar views were expressed by Mr Budhram and Mr Ram Phal, fathers of Dayanand and Raju, the other two victims of Dulina tragedy.

Yuva Chetna Samaj Sudhar Samiti president Muko Balmiki, and Haryana Pradesh Dalit Sena president Suresh Kumar Sein, expressed similar views. UNI

Dalits against conversions?
Ravi S. Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, October 28
The proselytisation of Dalits to Buddhism, Islam and Christianity does not seem to have gone down well with members of the Scheduled Castes, even though the popular view among them is for reforms in the Hindu religion which has “pigeon holed” them into the below-the-par category at the very bottom of the caste order.

Significantly, the conversions were claimed to be a protest against the October 15 lynching of five Dalits in Dulina in Jhajjar district by a crowd of Dasehra revellers.

The conversions were undertaken at a public meeting and at a ceremony organised by the All-India Confederation of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Organisations and the Lord Buddha Club headed by Mr Udit Raj. These were solomenised by religious leaders of Buddhism, Islam and Christianity.

While the confederation of the SC/ST organisations was floated in October, 1997,the Lord Buddha Club was constituted in August,1996.Incidentally, Mr Udit Raj technically still holds the post of Additional Commissioner, Income Tax. According to him, he goes on a long leave while indulging in these controversial socio-politico activities which have come under criticism, both from his peers and independent observers.

In short impromptu interviews a large number of Dalits claimed that conversion was no way to fight the obvious anomalies loaded against the Scheduled Castes in Hindu society, which was generally liberal. One will have to remain in the framework and fight against the fundamental elements from within. Mr Govardhan Sangvayya, a banker, summed up the general mood among the Dalits, saying that: “conversion was an escapist tendency. In any case it will not bring glory to the converts.”

Mr Mahender Singh Ranga, another known face among the Scheduled Castes here, lamented that conversions would further divide the Dalits and weaken their movement for bringing a just order to the Hindu religion. The Constitution, with equality, liberty and fraternity as its signature tune, is strong enough a weapon to take on any kind of injustice in the system, he added.

The general feeling outside the SCs demographic spectrum is that the Dulina incident is without doubt condemnable, but vested interests are using it as a fig leaf to goad the “undiscernable” Dalits for conversion. “Two wrongs do not make a right and such developments would push the society into further negative spiral” was the view expressed by many.

However, Kallu Ram says that the push has now become a shove. Hence, extreme measures like conversions were the only way to get out of the dark tunnel and caution the chauvanists amongst the Hindus in the process.

Government circles are reluctant to comment on the incident for reasons best known to them. On the surface the development is a backlash of the Dulina incident, alleged to be a sequel of negative and marauding sentiment in a section in the district administration and the police machinery. Although the government circles are keeping tight-lipped over the development, it is apparent there is hurt and hunger in the voice of some top officers that TNS talked to as the Dulina incident had collectively defiled their image.

However, reacting to the conversion incident the Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon, Mr Anurag Rastogi, said religion was a matter of personal faith in a secular state. Unless someone comes and makes a specific charge of coercion the administration has no role to play."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2005-07-01]


"Anti Buddhist Campaign Hotting Up

The hindu fascists are become increasingly aggressive against the Buddhists.The anger against the Buddhist minorities have increased manyfold after thousands of dalits ,the victims of hindu untouchability and apartheid have chosen to embrace Buddhism.

We have been persistently warning against the impending attacks against the Buddhists for almost an year.Infact this is not a new phenomenon.The hindutva propganda machinery had been engaged in an anti-Buddhist campain for sometime.Hindutva egroups and RSS cyber-pracharaks had been distributing anti-Buddhist literature for quiet some time.The article of Fracois Gautier slandering the Buddhists was a starting point. The Buddhist have been blamed for their non-violence which ,the hindu nazis say were responsible for the 'subjugation' of India by the moghuls.


The self-proclaimed intellectual of hindutva P Parameswaran has launched a bitter attack against the Buddhists after the Kerala chapter of Udit Raj's association announced that they are converting 25,000 dalits to Buddhism soon.

P Parameswaran,the head of 'Barateeya Vichar Kendra' accused the Buddhists of 'converting' Kshatriyas to Buddhism,rendering them 'impotent' and making them 'bikshus' and 'sanyasins'. This he alleged ,caused the downfall of Indian kings before the islamic invaders. This statement ,understandably is a malicious attempt to 'demonise' the invaders while giving a clean chit to the hindu kings whom historians say were absolute failures in governance and known for their women,wine and song and associated with tax collection and oppression.There are descriptions of the local popualtions actually welcoming the 'invaders' as an escape from the tyranny.The other hidden fact is that it was the infighting and unending power stuggles which causef their downfall.

P Parameswaran alleges that India lost 'Afghanistan' because it had become Buddhist.The kshatriya warriors, he laments ,had become 'non-violent'.Paramewaran may be one of those hindutva dreamers who dream of creating a hindu rashtra and an Akhand Bharat by annexing the territories of India's sovereign neighbours.Further the elements of hindutva are now actively asking the hindu civilians to renounce 'non-violence' and demanding that the hindu arm themselves.If one were to read any of the hindutva messages now flying around the internet,one would understand the militarising move.

The hindutva's malafides and dishonesty is revealed when they say that the Buddhists had made the Indian fighters impotent and 'non-resistant' but they suddenly became 'extremist' and 'aggressive' as they converted to Islam.

Hindutva now tries to glorify the kings of the past,who had been dethroned by history.But to cover up their eternal failures,they need to scapegoat Buddhism. And why this exercise of all of a sudden,from those who have been swearing that 'Buddhism is a panth of hinduism'? The motives are clear.It is obvious that in the coming days,the hindutva campaign against the Buddhists will receive greater force."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-13]


"Buddhist leader threatens to disrupt Kalchakra puja

The Times News Network  21st November 2002  

Bodh Gaya -  Bhadant Anand, general secretary of the All-India Monks Federation and the Bodh Gaya Mahabodhi Vihar All-India Action Committee, has threatened to disrupt the proposed Kalchakra puja, tentatively scheduled for the second week of January next year, if the demands of the neo-Buddhists are not met.

Spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhists and the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, is to lead the most important Buddhist ritual.

The threat has been communicated through a press release issued by Anand in Bodh Gaya.

Bhadant Anand has also written a letter to the Gaya DM Brajesh Mehrotra, the ex-officio chairman of the Mahabodhi Temple Management Committee. The temple is the most sacred Buddhist shrine where Prince Siddhartha, the wandering scion of the Himalayan Kingdom, is said to have attained enlightenment more than 2,500 years back

A few months back the monks laid a siege around the temple sanctum sanctorum to draw attention towards their long-pending demands. The demands of the Buddhists include the amendment of the Temple Act to transfer shrine management to an all Buddhist body, effective ban on the footwear entry into the shrine and rehabilitation of the monks who were relieved from temple duty last January following a scuffle between two group of monks.

As of now, the shrine is managed jointly by the Hindus and the Buddhists. Five of the nine members of the committee, including the chairman, as per the provisions of the act have to be Hindus.

In the letter, the monk, himself a former member of the shrine management committee, has also objected to the erection of new pillars in the temple premises ostensibly for the installation of flood lights in the temple. The temple has already been declared a world heritage site by the Unesco.

The monk has taken the stand that the installations would cause damage to the existing structure believed to be more than 1,200 years old.

The authorities have been given time till December 10 to formulate their response to the demand failing which an agitation aimed at disrupting the Kalchakra puja would be launched. Though the press release only said that the monks would not be responsible for obstruction caused to any prayer, Bhadant Anand, in a telephonic conversation with this correspondent, confirmed that by any prayer he meant the Kalchakra puja.

Bhadant Anand, during the conversation, also criticised the Dalai Lama, who allegedly favoured autonomy for Kashmir. “Kashmir was an integral part of India and anybody who espoused the cause of the secessionists can not be a friend of India,” said Anand.

The Dalai Lama has already issued a clarification saying that he has been misquoted on the Kashmir issue. Anand, however, alleged that the Dalai Lama was misusing the Indian hospitality to pursue his own agenda, which, quite often was at variance with India’s interest and the Dalai Lama had no sympathy for the Indian Buddhists."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-13]


Dalit-Führer Udit Raj (geb. 1959) beansprucht den berühmten Jagannath-Tempel in Puri für die Buddhisten:

"Bubaneswar, 22/04/2003

Chairman of the All-India Confederation of Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe organisations Udit Raj claimed on Monday that the 12th century Jagannath Temple in Puri was originally a Buddhist temple. Raj said that he has the evidence to back his claim.

Raj demanded that the site in the vicinity of the Jagannath Temple be excavated to ascertain the fact. Those demanding handing over of Ayodhya shrine to the Hindus should first handover the Jagannath temple to the Buddhists, he said. He further claimed that the Ayodhya site also has a Buddhist past. Fa-hein during his visit to India in fifth century AD mentioned Ayodhya along with Kosala and Jetvan Vihar as Buddhist sites in his book 'Travel in India and Ceylon', he said adding, the details of historical places about Buddha and Dhamma in Ayodhya has also been described by Thomas Cook in one of his books."

[Quelle: -- Zugriff am 2003-07-23]


In Gujerat konvertieren 10.000 Dalits zum Buddhismus

10,000 Dalits convert to Buddhism

AP[ SUNDAY, OCTOBER 05, 2003 06:27:20 PM ]

VADODARA: Thousands of Dalits converted to Buddhism in Gujarat on Sunday, ignoring threats by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal to disrupt the ceremony, organisers said.

Nearly 10,000 Dalits attended the mass ceremony meant to free them from a system of social discrimination, said Bhagvesh Jha, the top local administrator.

Organisers on the other hand claimed attendance was higher. Bhante Sangh Priye, head of the All India Buddhists Association in Gujarat, said at least 30,000 people took part.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal oppose such conversions, accusing non-Hindu religious organisations of luring the Dalits through offers of money or jobs.

However, Sunday's three-hour ceremony went off smoothly as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal didn't carry out their threats to obstruct the conversions.

Gujarat was the first state to introduce an anti-conversion law that bans religious conversion by force or through inducement.

But the anti-conversion law doesn't apply to people wishing to convert to Buddhism, said Priye. In India, Buddhism is not considered a separate religion from Hinduism.

Authorities in Vadodara deployed more than 200 policemen Sunday at the venue of the mass conversion ceremony to maintain security. Vadodara is 100 kilometers north of Ahmadabad, Gujarat's commercial capital.

"By December 2004, we will target conversion of 100,000 Hindus in Gujarat state only,'' Priye said. ``We are planning similar programmes in other parts of the country as Buddhism is the only religion which teaches one to get one's rights without recourse to violence and respect all people, irrespective of their caste and creed.''"

[Quelle: Times of India. -- 2003-10-06]

Weiterführende Ressourcen

Ahir, Diwan Chand <1928 - >: Buddhism in modern India. -- Delhi, India : Sri Satguru Publications, ©1991. -- 201 S. -- (Bibliotheca Indo-Buddhica ; no. 82). -- ISBN 8170302544

India : 50 years of independence, 1947-97 : status, growth & development. -- Delhi : B. R. Publishing Corp.
Vol 6: Buddhism / by D. C. Ahir >1928 - >. -- ©1998. -- 212 S. -- ISBN 8170189861

Kantowsky, Detlev <1936 - >: Buddhisten in Indien heute : Beschreibungen, Bilder und Dokumente. -- Konstanz : Univ., Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus", ©1999. -- 216 S. : Ill. -- (Forschungsberichte / Universität Konstanz, Arbeitsbereich Entwicklungsländer, Interkultureller Vergleich, Forschungsprojekt "Buddhistischer Modernismus" ; 16). -- Online: -- Zugriff am 2003-06-05

Eine Darstellung  im der Ereignisse um Dharmapala  im Kontext bis zu seinem Tod findet man in folgenden Kapiteln der "Materialien zum Neobuddhismus":

Zu 9.: Buddhismus in Frankreich